Service learning is front and centre in Western Law. The Faculty's Community Legal Services (CLS) and Business Law Clinic (BLC) help students gain experience while assisting others.
CLS has been in operation since 1970 and provides free legal services to people who cannot afford a lawyer. The BLC was established in 2004. It offers small start-up and early-stage businesses with student legal assistance. In both cases, students are overseen by practicing lawyers.
"Putting into practice what you learn in the classroom improves and deepens your understanding, while helping persons in need. A true win-win," says CLS Director, Douglas Ferguson.
Successful on and off the field
Mustang soccer player Allison Oosterhuis was selected as a Top 8 Academic All-Canadian for the 2004-05 season.
The defender was a first team Ontario University Athletics all-star in 2004, leading the Mustangs to the OUA championship and fifth place at the Canadian Interuniversity Sports nationals. A medical sciences student, Oosterhuis also maintains a 93 percent average. She's been on the Dean's Honor List for two consecutive years and earned numerous scholarships while at Western.
Ninety-five other Western student-athletes also earned Academic All-Canadian honours in 2004- 05, while 127 received OUA Academic Achievement Awards. Both distinctions require recipients to achieve 80 percent or better while participating in a university sport. More than one in four Mustang student-athletes met the mark.
Strengthening graduate studies
Guided by Western's strategic plan, Making Choices, and in line with government initiatives to increase the number of people with advanced degrees, the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) is focused on increasing the quality of graduate enrolment, designing new graduate programs and creating the best graduate student experience.
The number of doctoral students at Western has increased by 60 percent over the past five years. This growth was spread across the University, with nearly all faculties experiencing significant increases. Half of the growth in total graduate enrolment - including both masters and doctoral candidates - has come from new programs. FGS expects a further 20-per-cent increase in graduate student enrolment by 2007-2008. To support this growth, FGS is also evaluating and improving Western graduate students' academic, research and personal experience from application to employment.