How this workplace lawyer achieved her long-term career goals

In her sixth year of practice, Esi Codjoe enrolled in the Osgoode Professional LLM
Portrait of Esi Codjoe
Portrait of Esi Codjoe

Esi Codjoe

Lawyer, Turnpenney Milne LLP
Osgoode LLM: Labour Relations and
Employment Law, 2012

In 2010, Esi Codjoe was proud of her career. As a sixth-year lawyer, she was working as legal counsel at the Ontario Nurses’ Association, where she mediated labour disputes, appeared before tribunals and trained union leaders on equity issues. The role lined up with her lifelong commitment to fairness and justice.

But she also had other career goals she wanted to achieve in the future. Codjoe wanted to work in academia and, as her career progressed, hoped to land a more senior legal position. To help reach those objectives, she enrolled in the labour relations and employment law specialization of the Osgoode Professional LLM, a rigorous graduate program that she could complete on a part-time basis.

The coursework strengthened Codjoe’s legal mind. Her instructors introduced challenging material, while her peers sparked provocative debates in class. “In your day-to-day practice,” she says, “you don’t always get the opportunity to think as deeply as you’d like to about what the law means.”

After she completed the program, Codjoe started to turn her ambitions into reality. On the academic front, she spent four years as a part-time professor at Ryerson University. In 2017, after a few other career moves, she became a vice-chair at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, a true leadership role. And today, she works at Turnpenney Milne LLP, a top workplace-law boutique in Toronto. In her view, the professional master’s program helped make this career path possible. “Osgoode enriched my creative and critical thinking,” says Codjoe. “To get that scope of ideas and perspectives, to think deeply and expansively, was a valuable experience.”

Fast facts about the Osgoode Professional LLM

1. Flexible: The program is designed for professionals. Evening and weekend classes let you earn a degree while working.

2. Specialized: Dive deep into one of 14 areas of specialization, including tax, securities, criminal, constitutional, business, and dispute resolution.

3. Rigorous: Throughout the program, you’ll complete detailed papers on a complex area of law, honing your legal writing and analytical skills.

Osgoode’s Professional LLM is designed with the working lawyer in mind. To learn more, visit the program’s website or call (416) 673-4670.

This is a story from our Summer 2021 Issue.