Osgoode Hall Law School is moving to tighten admissions procedures in the wake of a Toronto Star investigation that discovered a third-year student had used a bogus undergraduate degree to enter the York University law program.
"The integrity of our admissions process is of paramount importance to the Law School," dean Patrick Monahan writes in an email to students.
"If even a single individual is able to gain admission to the School improperly, that takes a place in the class away from another qualified deserving applicant.
"It also damages our reputation as an institution."
The email, dated Dec. 27 and addressed to LawClass2009, says the law school is "investigating additional verification measures that could be put in place to detect cases of fraud in the admission process."
The measures come after Osgoode student Quami Frederick was revealed to have used a degree purchased from a diploma mill on the Internet to get accepted into the program in 2006.
More recently, Frederick submitted photocopies of transcripts in which her Osgoode Hall marks were inflated when she successfully applied for an articling job at the Bay St. law firm Wildeboer Dellelce, LLP.
Instead of beginning that job after graduating in the spring, Frederick, 28, is now facing an Osgoode Hall disciplinary hearing that she expects will result in her expulsion. The law firm has withdrawn its job offer.
Frederick was one of 290 students admitted to Osgoode in 2006 from a pool of more than 2,500 applicants. Her credentials included a purported Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from St. George's University in Grenada in 2000.
A simple phone call to Grenada in the West Indies three years ago would have revealed that Frederick, while she has said she previously lived on the island, was never a student at St. George's.
The Star story prompted dozens of emails from students and alumni, some questioning whether the law school and Bay St. firm had carried out due diligence.
A spokesperson for Osgoode Hall said the Ontario Law School Application Service (OLSAS) "evaluates" all applications before sending them to the province's six law schools for processing.
However, while the OLSAS collects data and documentation from applicants and sends the information to the law schools, it does not "perform eligibility evaluations, international credential evaluation or make admission decisions of any kind," said George Granger, executive director of Ontario Universities' Application Centre. "These functions are performed by the universities themselves."
Frederick's name is on a list of bogus-degree buyers compiled by U.S. Homeland Security and Secret Service agents who took down a Washington State diploma mill in 2005.
St. Regis University, which ran for six years under dozens of bogus names, sold more than 10,000 degrees worldwide through the Internet. Its list of buyers has 220 Canadians, including Marie Theriault-Sabourin, who bought an MBA in 2000 for $1,350 before being hired by the registrar's office at Algonquin College in Ottawa.
A spokesperson for Algonquin said the college is treating the incident as a personnel matter, and that the Privacy Act prevents disclosure of what action, if any, will be taken in the case.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
The Toronto Star cut off comments rather quickly to this story,
its amazing how the Toronto Star cut off comments on any story that might embarrass the legal profession and or the judiciary.
Lawyers regularly lie in court. When the law society hear about very serious complaints about lawyers,
they do next to nothing.
For serious complaints you can expect nothing more than "a review of their practice" and "supervision".
Meanwhile, lives are permanently destroyed and children endlessly abused by violent mentally ill parents.
Some of the worst examples personally fabricate evidence. Take Lesley C. Kendal of Kingston Ontario. She personally fabricates evidence and
presents evidence to the court as fact when she knew it was obtained by fraud.
Then there is another feminist lawyer, Joanne A. Barber of Timmins Ontario who again personally fabricates evidence.
Both these lawyers are typical of a cess pool of the feminist legal profession that rely upon equally disgusting members of the judiciary
who turn a blind eye to any such obvious example of fraud.