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Thanking Leslie MacLeod: Looking Back on the Professional LLM in Alternative Dispute Resolution

June 5, 2019

Roz Bahrami

On Wednesday, May 22, 2019, over 100 people gathered at Osgoode Professional Development to celebrate the retirement and decades-long contribution of Leslie H. MacLeod to the Professional LLM in Dispute Resolution at OsgoodePD. OsgoodePD’s Executive Director Victoria Watkins and Paul Emond took to the stage to speak about Leslie’s dedication to her work as Co-Academic Director of the Dispute Resolution LLM. Victoria and Paul also spoke about the graciousness, kindness and intelligence that Leslie brought to the role, and the overall impact she had had her students over the years.

Leslie and Paul have been Co-Academic Directors of the Dispute Resolution program for over a decade. As a duo, they have built a formidable program that provides students with a unique combination of theory and practical knowledge. According to Leslie, who was a student in the first cohort of the program in 1995, it also provides students with lifelong friendships and invaluable connections. The program attracts professionals from a wide variety of industries, including law, medicine, and human resources, for example. Students in each Dispute Resolution LLM cohort continually remark that alongside the substantive legal knowledge they gained, the program connected them to people who became important parts of their lives and professional networks.

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Under the leadership of Leslie and Paul, the program has seen over 500 students graduate with an LLM in Dispute Resolution. Since 1995, these students have gone on to make important contributions to the Dispute Resolution field in Ontario and elsewhere. The program has also undergone several changes during their tenure, including an expanded offering of courses as well as the inclusion of more diverse perspectives (including neuroscience and even improv!) As Dispute Resolution becomes more widely used in the legal industry and beyond, the program will continue to reflect the ever-changing nature of the field and the perspectives of those who work within it.

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As Leslie and Paul reflected on their time at OsgoodePD, what stands out most to them is the unique nature of the Dispute Resolution program. They both comment that the collaborative, engaging and interactive nature of the teaching makes it a program like no other. Both Leslie and Paul maintain that they have learned as much from their students as the students have learned from them. And it is this kind of dynamic learning environment, where students are challenged to think through complex problems in new and nontraditional ways, that has led so many alumni of the program to regard it as personally and professionally transformative.

Want to know more about the Professional LLM in Dispute Resolution? Sign up for an Information Session!