Dian Thompson, Osgoode LLM graduate

Thoughts from Osgoode’s Fall Convocation

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On Wednesday October 18th, over 100 Professional LLM students participated in Fall Convocation and officially earned their Master of Laws. Congratulations to all the graduates!

Amidst all the whirlwind and excitement, we managed to catch up with five of the graduates after the ceremony to reflect on what stood out from their LLM experiences. Scroll down for their thoughts, and for more pictures from Convocation.

Moishele Fogel, Dispute Resolution LLM

Moishele Fogel

Do you have a favourite / stand-out memory of your time at Osgoode?
My stand-out memory of my time at Osgoode took place during the Introduction to Dispute Resolution course at the very beginning of my program. The course director – Professor Paul Emond – was explaining the requirements for crafting our plans of study for the remainder of our time in the program. He encouraged us to think deeply into the ‘why’ and reflect upon the reason we had chosen to pursue an LL.M and what we were planning to do with it when we completed our degrees. Professor Emond paused for a moment and said: “The LLM has to mean something to you. Your enrollment here has to matter or it’s just not worth doing”.

That moment of introspection set the tone for the rest of my time at Osgoode. Before beginning every assignment I would think about how I could invest in a way that would help me become a better student and a more skillful practitioner. Out of all my lessons from the staff and students at OsgoodePD – and there were many – the memory of finding the ‘why’ has had the biggest impact on me both personally and professionally.

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to apply, or just starting the program?
My advice to someone starting the program would be to capitalize on all the opportunities OsgoodePD has to offer. The courses are brilliantly designed and taught by an all-star roster of instructors who have a genuine interest in helping their students succeed. The OsgoodePD learning environment is second to none. Regardless of the LLM stream, the OsgoodePD experience provides its students with all the tools to level-up in their chosen fields and must be utilized to the fullest.

Danielle Douek, Health Law LLM

Danielle Douek

If you were to do your LLM again, would you do anything differently?
The LLM program was a great opportunity to meet likeminded professionals from the medical and legal fields. Even though I participated remotely from London, Ontario, I still made a lot of great connections with my classmates from across Canada. If I were to do it again, I would plan to attend more classes in person, where possible. I look forward to keeping in touch with my classmates throughout my career.

Do you have a favourite instructor or faculty member?
The instructors in the Osgoode LLM program are the top academics and practitioners in the country in the health law field. In particular Professors Joan Gilmour and Gerald Robertson had a huge impact on me. They inspired me to shift the focus of my practice to medical malpractice. The course materials provided me with the foundation I needed to make this change and the LLM designation gives me an edge in a very competitive field.

Prasang Shukla, International Business Law LLM

Prasang Shukla

Why did you choose this program?
I chose the International Business Law program because it offered me the chance to learn from top practicing professionals in North America. Also, it helped that Osgoode Hall is one of the top law schools in Canada. The diversity in class was another factor and I’m glad to have a network of peers to bank on.

Favourite class? What did you like most about it?
I’m having a tough time choosing between Taxation of Cross-Border Transactions and International Finance, so I would say both. I really liked Professor Li’s pedagogy and Alison Manzer was very friendly and shares her excellent understanding of finance.

Elvira Burtseva, Canadian Common Law LLM

Elvira Burtseva

Why did you choose this program?
I believe that receiving local legal education will prepare you best for a career as a legal professional in Canada. It will make your legal credentials more understandable for Canadian employers. I chose Osgoode because its Canadian Common Law LLM program allowed me to not only pass my NCA challenge exams but also allowed me to enroll in courses from both the professional LLM program and JD program that I was most interested in.

Do you have a favourite instructor or faculty member? How have they made a positive impact on your time at Osgoode?
With a focus on pursuing my career in business law, I took classes in Trusts Law (Professor David Freedman), Securities Regulation (Professor Rory Cattanach and Professor Al Wiens) and Taxation Law (Professor Jinyan Li). I benefited a lot from the excellent instruction and career advice I got from these professors who are actually practicing in those areas of law.

During my time at Osgoode, I was able to sharpen not only my academic skills but also such practical skills as giving public presentations, preparing for a job interview and building my professional network. As a new legal professional in Canada, I certainly benefited from those exceptional opportunities.

Suzana Chakabveyo, International Business Law LLM

Suzana Chakabveyo

Do you have a favourite instructor or faculty member? How have they made a positive impact on your time at Osgoode?
Ellen Schlesinger, Student Success and Wellness Counsellor. My journey as an LLM student was met with a lot of hurdles/challenges and because of the support and encouragement that I got from Ellen I managed to overcome those challenges and complete my studies. Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep going. Tough situations build strong people in the end.

Do you have a favourite / stand-out memory of your time at Osgoode?
Orientation week, it was really fun exploring Toronto.

Some more photo’s of Osgoode LLM graduates that participated in the Fall 2017 Convocation. Again, congratulations to all graduates!

Two Osgoode Graduates (L-R): Prasang Shukla and
Osgoode’s 2017 Fall graduates (L-R) Prasang Shukla (International Business Law LLM) and Amna Bhatti (Canadian Common Law LLM).
Meghan Thomas & Michael Tam in Convocation procession
(L-R) Meghan Thomas (Director, Professional Graduate and International Programs) and Michael Tam (Program Lawyer, International Programs) in Osgoode’s Fall Convocation procession.
(L-R) Michael Tam  (Program Lawyer, International Programs) with Osgoode Graduates
(L-R) Michael Tam (Program Lawyer, International Programs) with Osgoode’s Fall 2017 graduates Dian Thompson (Canadian Common Law LLM), Irina Mui (Canadian Common Law LLM), Andile Mthupha (Canadian Common Law LLM) and Prasang Shukla (International Business Law LLM).
Suzana Chakabveyo in convocation gown surrounded by family and friends
Graduate Suzana Chakabveyo (International Business Law LLM) with family and friends at Osgoode’s Fall 2017 Convocation ceremony.

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Sarah Alexander

Staff writer at OsgoodePD

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