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The Osgoode Public Interest Requirement (OPIR). University of Toronto Symposium “Can Legal Ethics Be Taught” April 4, 2008 Janet Leiper Director, Osgoode Public Interest Requirement. The Osgoode Public Interest Requirement. A new Graduation Requirement

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the osgoode public interest requirement opir

The Osgoode Public Interest Requirement(OPIR)

University of Toronto Symposium

“Can Legal Ethics Be Taught”

April 4, 2008

Janet Leiper

Director, Osgoode Public Interest Requirement

the osgoode public interest requirement
The Osgoode Public Interest Requirement
  • A new Graduation Requirement
  • 40 hours of work by Osgoode students which is:
  • Law-related
  • In the Public Interest
  • Uncompensated
developing a public interest requirement
Developing a Public Interest Requirement
  • Strategic Plan 2005
  • Clinical Education Committee 2006
  • Faculty Council Approval 2006
  • Implementation 2007
what does public interest mean
What Does “Public Interest” Mean?
  • Interpreted “broadly”
  • Includes activities which facilitate access to justice
  • Law reform activities
  • Services to organizations or communities to engage with law
what does public interest mean to law students
What Does “Public Interest” Mean to Law Students?

Assisting Marginalized Groups

OR

Acting in the Broader Collective Good

fall 2007 the new curriculum
Fall 2007: The New Curriculum
  • Ethical Lawyering in a Global Community begins
  • Themes: visions of lawyering, access to justice, panel discussions and small

group discussion

  • “What Can We Do?”
opir nuts and bolts
OPIR: Nuts and Bolts
  • Students register using on-line forms
  • All forms and information are available at the OPIR webpage, link on MyOsgoode
  • In keeping with recommendations to OPIR, paperwork for supervisors has been minimized: a brief survey at the end of the placement and initializing student time sheets
the role of faculty
The Role of Faculty
  • Opportunity for Public Interest Work with Enthusiastic Student Involvement
  • Proof: Professor Alan Young
  • Six positions announced: November 20/07

10 days later: 23 first year student applicants, complete with descriptions of aptitudes, ability to manage their time, interest in the project, many with resumes attached

the role of faculty continued
The Role of Faculty (continued)
  • Ambassadors into larger legal community for student placements
  • Idea Generators for student placements
  • Facilitators of Student Discussion Groups
why are partners interested
Why are Partners Interested?
  • Temporal Flexibility: placements need not fit into any pre-determined time slot; available year round
  • Spatial Flexibility: research-focused placements mean students may provide service from home/library/school settings
  • OPIR Director: Role of Broker: custom design is possible
the opir committee
The OPIR Committee
  • Established November 2006
  • Composed of community, student, alumni and faculty members
  • Advisory resource to the program
  • Available to hear appeals from placements found not to qualify for OPIR
  • To date: committee has met in the fall and spring