Skip to main content

Ann Wallington augmented her practical experience in Canadian constitutional law with an Osgoode LLM

April 30, 2024


Ann Wallington is happy to admit she was a little anxious about her enrolment in Osgoode’s part-time Professional LLM in Constitutional Law.

Before her 2013 start date, Wallington had spent most of the previous three decades immersed in the field of law and justice. That included 13 years as a member of the Toronto Police Service and several more as a college instructor teaching prospective police officers and criminal justice students, but none as a lawyer.

However, it didn’t take Wallington long to realize that her professional background was nothing to worry about.

“The environment at Osgoode was very welcoming,” she says. “My classmates were very open and everyone was extremely generous with their time.”

In fact, Wallington quickly found that her hands-on experience with Canadian constitutional law was an asset to the program.

“One of my instructors said that it was great to hear from a former police officer,” she explains. “Very often, there are only lawyers in the room, so it was interesting for them to get a sense of what is happening on the street. I was able to give a different perspective on the Charter and how people are working with it.”

Having earned an earlier MA in Education at an American university, Wallington saw a Canadian constitutional law LLM as the ideal academic augmentation to her practical experience in the field, hoping that this would allow her to expand her to expand her teaching repertoire.

Although she considered other institutions and educational programs, Wallington says Osgoode’s offering stood out – and not just because of the flexibility of its schedule, which allowed her to fit in evening classes around her full-time job. 

“Osgoode has a great reputation in the post-secondary system and its credentials are very highly valued in the college sector where I work,” she says. “But it was also important to me to increase my discipline-specific knowledge and I don’t think there were any other programs that would have given me the same kind of strength in Canadian constitutional law.”

The decision was validated in short order, according to Wallington, who sees her Osgoode LLM as a key part of her subsequent career progression.

Soon after her 2015 graduation, Wallington joined Humber College as a full-time member professor at its Faculty of Social and Community Services. Since then, she has ascended the ranks at the department, serving as academic program manager supporting the Humber’s Bachelor of Social Science programs in Criminal Justice and Youth Care before assuming her current role as acting associate dean.

Almost a decade on from her Osgoode experience, Wallington still looks back fondly on both her classes and the contacts she made.  

“My colleagues were some of the biggest highlights. I always appreciated the breadth and depth of class discussions,” she says. “The calibre of the faculty was also outstanding. There was a great balance between academic, long-time Canadian constitutional law scholars, coupled with people actively working in the area.”   

After a long career in Ontario’s college system, where career focused applied learning is the name of the game, Wallington had no problem putting her own newly acquired Canadian constitutional law knowledge into action for the benefit of her students.

The influence of her LLM can be felt most keenly in the courses Wallington teaches on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, criminal procedure and mock court, she says.

“When I can talk about the role and perspectives of defence counsel, the Crown and the judge in relation to cases that have gone to the Supreme Court of Canada, it gives students an enhanced understanding of what the constitution is,” Wallington says. “Most people don’t really appreciate the Charter, even if they have read about it. But when you get to understand how it’s being applied and the principles behind different decisions, you get a different perspective that goes beyond what you might have seen in the headline.”

Wondering if the Professional LLM is right for you? Get information on course requirements, application dates, tuition and more!