A Leader in lifelong legal learning
Contact Us

If you practise or want to practise Family Law – you MUST take this one-of-a-kind skills program.

Combining substantive law and interactive learn-by-doing exercises, you will work with, and receive personalized feedback from trained simulated clients and an expert faculty, to acquire the key foundational knowledge and practical skills you need.

Focusing on the practical, over 7 intensive modules, you will work through the key stages of a family law file. Using a combination of in-depth case studies, simulated clients, and hands-on skills workshops, The Osgoode Certificate in Family Law Skills and Practice was designed and delivered by the leading family law judges, lawyers, and experts.

Spread out over 6 months, you will be able to fully develop and refine your skills. You will obtain individualized feedback and practice learned concepts in a zero-consequence learning environment. PLUS!

You Will Learn:

  • How to master the initial client interview (and why it is so critical)
  • Strategies for managing your client, including those “difficult” client and clients with special challenges
  • What you should and shouldn’t include in your Financial Statement, and what you should look for in the other sides’
  • How to assess options for consensual resolution: learn how to determine what your client really wants and needs; participate in a simulated negotiation
  • Tactics for drafting Minutes of Settlement
  • What needs to be done when your matter doesn’t settle, including mastering the case conference and preparing for a trial or arbitration
  • Pitfalls to avoid: affidavit and examinations
  • Successful strategies in motion advocacy: how to give the Court what it needs
  • How to effectively structure your written and oral submissions
  • Best practices for dealing with experts. Using your own and strategies for challenging the other side’s
  • Practice management techniques for wrapping up the file


Program Director

  • Shelley Kierstead, Assistant Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School

Advisory Board

  • Adam Black, Torkin Manes LLP
  • Aaron Franks, Epstein Cole LLP
  • Kathryn Hendrikx, Hendrikx Family Law
  • Janet Whitehead, Whitehead Law and Mediation

Faculty Judges

  • The Hon. Justice George Czutrin, Senior Family Justice, Superior Court of Justice
  • The Hon. Victoria R. Chiappetta, Superior Court of Justice
  • The Hon. Justice Kendra Coats, Superior Court of Justice
  • The Hon. Justice Alex Finlayson, Ontario Court of Justice
  • The Hon. Justice R. John Harper, Superior Court of Justice
  • The Hon. Justice Francis Kiteley, Superior Court of Justice
  • The Hon. Justice Marvin Kurz, Superior Court of Justice
  • The Hon. Justice Lene Madsen, Superior Court of Justice
  • The Hon. Justice Heather McGee, Superior Court of Justice
  • The Hon. Justice Manjusha Pawagi, Ontario Court of Justice
  • The Hon. Justice Melanie Sager, Ontario Court of Justice
  • The Hon. Justice M. J. Lucille Shaw, Superior Court of Justice
  • The Hon. Justice Stanley B. Sherr, Ontario Court of Justice
  • The Hon. Justice Victoria Starr, Ontario Court of Justice
  • The Hon. Justice Roselyn Zisman, Ontario Court of Justice

2020 Faculty Included:

  • William H. Abbott, MacDonald & Partners LLP
  • Anna M. Barrett, BSc, CPA, CA, CBV, CFF, Marmer Penner Inc.
  • Yvonne Bernstein, LAWPRO
  • Georgina L. Carson, MacDonald & Partners LLP
  • Erin Crawford, Grant Crawford & Watson LLP
  • Dani Z. Frodis, Frodis Family Law
  • Doron Gold, BA, JD, MSW, RSW, CPCC, Staff Clinician Homewood Health
  • Julie K. Hannaford, J K Hannaford Barristers
  • Heather Hansen, Martha McCarthy & Company LLP
  • Farrah Hudani, Christen Seaton Burrison Hudani LLP
  • Gary S. Joseph, MacDonald & Partners LLP
  • George Karahotzitis, Thomson, Rogers
  • Maxine M. Kerr, Barrister & Solicitor
  • Christine Kim, M.S.W., Christine Kim Mediation
  • Michael B. Kleinman, Kleinman Gordon Family Law
  • Alfred A. Mamo, McKenzie Lake Lawyers
  • Deepa Mattoo, LLB, MBA, PGD, Executive Director, Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
  • Judith M. Nicoll, McInnis & Nicoll
  • Richard Niman, Niman Mamo LLP
  • Kristen Normandin, Normandin Chris LLP
  • Steve Z. Ranot, CPA, CA•IFA, CBV, Marmer Penner Inc.
  • Avra Rosen, Rosen Sack LLP
  • Charu Ruparelia, J K Hannaford Barristers
  • Michael Stangarone, MacDonald & Partners LLP
  • Paula White, CPA, CA, CBV, White & Lewis
  • Frances M. Wood, Wood Gold LLP



Fees include attendance and program materials. The price does not include accommodations. Please inquire about group discounts and financial assistance. Dress is business casual. Purchase of individual modules is not available. 

Program Changes

We will make every effort to present the certificate program as advertised, but it may be necessary to change the dates, location, speakers or content with little or no notice. In the event of program cancellation, York University and Osgoode Hall Law School’s liability is limited to reimbursement of paid fees.

Substitutions, Cancellations and Refunds

Substitution of registrants is permitted at any time. If you are unable to find a substitute a full refund (less $75 administration fee) is available if a cancellation request is received in writing 14 days prior to the program date. No other refund is available.

Technical Support

In the event you experience technical difficulties, please contact opdsupport@osgoode.yorku.ca for assistance.


Have questions? Read our FAQs.

Program Details

Questions on program registration?
Please contact the Registration Team at osgoodepd@osgoode.yorku.ca

Questions on the program content?
Please contact the Program Lawyer:
Alison Hurst at AHurst@osgoode.yorku.ca

Program Details

Date & Time

January 13 & 22, February 10, March 9, April 6, May 5, June 2, 2021
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Online - Live, interactive

Fee per Delegate

Regular Fee per Delegate:
$2,795 plus HST

New Licensee (2017-present):

$1,795 plus HST 

Register Now

Printable Registration Form

Eligible CPD Credit Hours

Who Should Attend

  • Legal professionals who are or plan to specialize in family law
  • General practitioners who want to hone their substantive knowledge and practical skills in family law

Back to top

“This programme is the foundation that every lawyer who wants to practise family law needs, and it is the type of training that most senior family law lawyers wish they could deliver, but often can’t in light of their busy schedules.Julie K. Hannaford, J K Hannaford Barristers (Professional Corporation)

Sponsor A Program

Looking for an innovative way to market your firm’s products or services?

Consider sponsoring an OsgoodePD Continuing Legal Education program or event.