Second-year JD student Alexandra Da Silva has been chosen as Osgoode’s Dean for a Day for 2017, Dean Lorne Sossin has announced.
“I will be attending her Family Law class on Friday, March 10 and she will be moving into my office for the day and assuming the duties of Dean,” Sossin said in a note to the Osgoode community.
Da Silva grew up in Mississauga and attended the University of Toronto where she studied Criminology and Portuguese. The only child of Portuguese immigrants to Canada, she is the first in her family to attend university. She currently serves as vice-president of the Osgoode First Generation Network (OFGN) and as a student ambassador and Dean’s Scribe. “I love law school,” she said. “It’s a challenge in the best way, but there are so many opportunities on offer for students at Osgoode.”
This year’s Dean for a Day contest question – Which one of the five goals set out in the Access Osgoode Strategic Plan 2017-2020 should be Osgoode’s top priority over the next three years and why? – elicited a total of 16 submissions via multiple communications channels including e-mail, YouTube and Twitter. The Dean for a Day contest ran from February 6 to March 3 and was open to all Osgoode students.
The judges – Associate Dean (Students) Benjamin Berger and Assistant Dean (Students) Mya Rimon – carefully considered each submission and concluded that “Alexandra provided a clear and compelling vision of why community engagement would be central to realizing all of the priorities in the Strategic Plan, including access, reconciliation and enriching experiential education.”
Da Silva’s e-mail submission said: “Osgoode’s action plan should focus on community engagement. This is the only priority which acts as an open door to meaningful progress in each of the other listed priorities. By engaging with the diverse communities we serve (as an educational institution, and as a starting point for legal professionals) we can learn from those affected, instead of speculating, about accessibility needs and how to meet them; about which shortfalls in legal services could be covered through experiential education; about how to make reconciliation a cornerstone in all that Osgoode does; and about what our focuses in research intensification should be.”
The judges also awarded an “Honourable Mention” to third-year JD student Joseph Palmieri saying that his “visually remarkable video gave a wonderfully thought out action plan for enhancing our approach to experiential education.” His submission is here.
“I want to thank all of this year’s contest entrants for their insightful, thoughtful and creative submissions as well as the judges for their careful deliberations,” Sossin said. “Heartiest congratulations to Alexandra. I look forward to trading places with her on Friday.”