York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School and the DUKE Heights Business Improvement Area (BIA) will celebrate the launch of DUKE Law – a free online legal information service for BIA members – on Friday, Feb. 23 from 8:30 to 10:30am at the DUKE Heights office, 2 Champagne Dr., Unit C9, North York.
The new online legal information service is part of a larger initiative to create a Virtual Employment Hub, where both employers and job seekers will find resources to develop their potential. The Virtual Employment Hub will offer one source through the DUKE Heights website where employers, entrepreneurs and job seekers can find resources to help them succeed and grow.
DUKE Heights BIA Executive Director Matias de Dovitiis said the two-year pilot program with Osgoode – officially known as the DUKE Heights/Osgoode Hall Law School Community Impact Project – is an effort to foster new opportunities for the North York and Toronto employment scene.
“The DUKE Heights BIA has more than 2,500 businesses, more than 31,000 employees and 34,000 people come into the area on any given workday, and is right at the doorsteps of York University,” de Dovitiis said. “We have a mandate from our Board of Directors to develop a relationship that will make our area a hub for innovation and growth and this Osgoode partnership is a step in that direction.”
Osgoode Dean Lorne Sossin said the partnership with DUKE Heights is aligned with one of the law school’s key strategic priorities to broaden community engagement.
“We are investing energy and resources in creating and supporting opportunities for students to make community engagement a central and positive part of their experience at Osgoode,” Sossin said.
Six Osgoode JD students and a research assistant, as well as a steering committee from the law school, have been working with DUKE Heights on the development of the online legal information service, which will start with a website page of frequently asked questions and answers.
Sossin notes that employment creation and community-building go hand in hand
“What has become clear over years of working in a variety of community-oriented law school partnerships and outreach programs is that employment is a key to community-building and to overcoming the kind of legal barriers which many face,” he said.
“Additionally, the University itself is a major employer, contractor, and anchor institution, procuring goods and services for a variety of activities. Legal innovations around social enterprise and social procurement can help fulfill the potential of the University to support and strengthen communities.”