2023 Mediation Clinic Open House Recap

2023 Mediation Clinic Open House Recap

Sophie Sklar
March 23, 2023

On February 8, 2023, I had the pleasure of co-hosting the Osgoode Mediation Clinic (OMC) Open House, which was a part of Osgoode’s Advocacy Week 2023.

The Open House event attracted over 40 students and community members, all of whom were interested in learning more about the OMC’s service offerings, and how to join the team.

The event was divided into a structured presentation, as well as a more informal discussion and Q&A with members of all three of the clinic’s divisions: the Campus Clinic division, the Family and Youth division, and the Neighbourhood Group division.

The Presentation

The Osgoode Mediation Clinic is run by upper-year law students at Osgoode Hall Law School who are trained in mediation and are currently enrolled in the Mediation Clinical Program. All work is supervised by the Clinic Co-Directors, Karen Drake and Bernard Morrow, and focuses both on theoretical and practical approaches to mediation.

We started by presenting the OMC’s mission to provide free mediation and conflict resolution services within York University and the surrounding community, in a manner that empowers individuals to play a critical role in the outcome of their conflicts and disputes. We explained that while the work being engaged in is different among the different divisions, there are certain things that we do as a group including attendance at the seminar, training, and attending court (either Small Claims Court or Private Information Court, for example).

We shared with the group that OMC is unique in providing several practical opportunities to test and build your mediation skills. Further, we highlighted that it is important to consider that you do not need to be an expert on mediation or have a background within the field to apply, as the training/program directors make it an inviting atmosphere regardless of your experience level with dispute resolution.

We also discussed the various community groups who OMC is partnered with, the types of topics we cover in the clinic seminar, and the application procedure for prospective students who are interested in joining the Clinic.

The Discussion

In the discussion section of the presentation, each presenter discussed what drew them to join OMC, and the highlights of their clinical experiences thus far. We heard about experiences with mediating, as well as some of the challenges associated with participating in a clinical program. It was an insightful discussion, which highlighted the type of work that occurs within each of the three divisions.

We thank everyone who took time out of their day to attend the Open House! We are excited to see what the Open House will look like next year.