Obiter Dicta Issue 6 - November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013 The Definitive Source for Osgoode News Vol 86 Issue 6 DEAN SOSSIN SPEAKS AT NOVEMBER 14TH’S TUITION TOWNHALL Are we paying too much for law school? TERRY WONG Contributor Law school is expensive. THIS ACADEMIC YEAR, each of us will pay Osgoode somewhere in the neighborhood of $22,000. That’s more than 75% of the median Canadian’s income. When you do the math, each of us effectively pays Osgoode about $50 per hour of class time [At 17 credits, $43/hour (17 hrs x 15 weeks x 2 semesters) and at 13 credits, $56/hour (13 hours x 15 weeks x 2 semesters)]. And keep in mind that this $22,000 only covers tuition and fees. When you add books and conservative living expenses (as budgeted by the Osgoode Office of Financial Services), the total cost of a three-year Osgoode JD easily exceeds $120,000. The rising cost of law school is an issue that should matter to everyone. Osgoode’s current tuition costs reduce the meritocracy of the admissions system. It cuts down the diversity of our classes and ultimately, the legal profession, without reference to a candi- date’s academics or other qualifications. In a way, Osgoode’s tuition is like those amusement park ride warning signs that require that “you must be THIS tall to ride”, except the Osgoode warning sign would say that “your personal wealth and/or acceptance of potentially lifealtering debt must be THIS big to attend the law school.” Moreover, Osgoode’s current tuition rates also limit the career and life choices of students. Students who might have otherwise pursued areas of practice such as social justice or the public service are pulled towards higher-paying options in order to pay off their debt loads. This in turn reduces the public’s access to legal services while disproportionately affecting vulnerable groups. The steep price of law school tuition has contributed to the sad irony of our legal system: where average Canadians can’t afford to use a lawyer when they need one, but simultaneously there is underemployment of articling students and legal professionals. Student Caucus April 2013 Report The following bullets hit on key points from an investigation done by a Student Caucus member and published by the Obiter Dicta in April 2013. If you are interested in why you are asked to pay $22,000 and where that money goes, I strongly urge you to read the full article. A link is provided below. » continued on page 15 In this issue... Remembering Professor Mandel page 3 and 4 Quebec Charter of Values page 5 Jurisfoodence pages 6 and 7 Film reviews pages 10 and 11