Community Legal Services
Community Legal Services (CLS) is a teaching legal clinic where law students, under the supervision of the clinic’s lawyers and upper year student supervisors, handle legal files on behalf of Western University and Fanshawe College students, as well as financially disadvantaged members of the London community.
CLS presents the only opportunity available to law students to appear in court on real cases. Students handle files from the initial client interview all the way to settlement or trial. With its new expanded facilities in Room 126, CLS now has the best clinical space in Canada and is one of the largest student legal clinics. We have been recognized as “one of the most important legal aid service clinics in the country.” We handle close to 1,000 files per year and provide brief legal advice to many other individuals. CLS covers the following areas of law:
- Criminal law (summary conviction matters and provincial offences)
- Small Claims Court
- Landlord and tenant
- Family law
- Student academic appeals
- Intellectual property
- Public legal education
In providing these legal services, students at CLS receive valuable legal training in practical lawyering skills such as interviewing clients, document drafting, and handling trials in court. Many graduates feel their experience in CLS gave them an advantage in seeking articling positions due to the experience they received. It’s a win-win situation because in addition to receiving experience, students are helping people in need.
“Caseworkers” must be in either their second or third year of law school and must be taking both Clinical Practice Skills 5854A and one of the Practical Clinic courses (Criminal, Civil, Family) .
First-year students are able to participate in the clinic as “Associate Caseworkers.” They are required to complete:
- CLS Ethics 101 Training
- Attend duty hours
- Attend client intakes
- Attend a client meeting as a note taker
- Attend a court or tribunal appearance
- Attend a meeting with a Review Counsel
- Assist with research and drafting
Upon completion, Associate Caseworkers receive a Certification of Completion from CLS. To be selected as an Associate Caseworker, first year students must go through an application process in early September. Approximately 25 first year students will be selected. Watch for more details!
Dispute Resolution Centre
The Dispute Resolution Centre (DRC) is a not-for-profit organization that provides alternative dispute resolution (ADR) training to students and mediation services to London and Middlesex County residents. It is operated by Western Law students under the supervision of Community Legal Services (CLS). Each year, the DRC takes on a select number of Interns to become certified in ADR after attending weekly, hands-on mediation and negotiation training. ADR Interns also assist in DRC community projects and school initiatives. Currently, the DRC runs conflict resolution workshops through the Student Success Centre, Youth Opportunities Unlimited and Leads Employment, and conducts intakes with peace bond applicants at the London Courthouse. The DRC also organizes the ADR Speaker Series and 1L Mediation Competition for Western law students.
Negotiation is a crucial step in all litigated cases, and Interns may be assisting with Landlord and Tenant Board mediations, Small Claims Court settlement conferences, or Crown Resolution meetings. Mediation is also appropriate for many areas of law and the DRC has previously helped mediate contract breaches, debts, neighbour disputes, evictions, employment disputes, peace bonds, and many other issues. As both negotiators and mediators, Interns will help their clients resolve disputes in a fair and cost-effective way, attempting to avoid the burdens of the court system.
The ADR Internship allows students to develop a strong and unique set of skills applicable to all areas of legal practice. The program is intensive, and Interns should expect to commit an average of six hours of their time per week, with some weeks requiring more and some requiring less time, depending on when work is assigned. Information about the application process will be sent out in early September and applications will be due shortly thereafter.
DRC Student Coordinator
Dispute Resolution Centre
Western Business Law Clinic
The Western Business Law Clinic (WBLC) provides legal services and information to small and early-stage businesses, entrepreneurs and not-for-profit organizations. The Clinic’s services, which may otherwise be inaccessible, help prepare clients to confidently initiate projects and engage in various business transactions. Assistance is provided on a wide range of business matters, including:
- Shareholder agreements
- Partnership agreements
- Employment agreements
- Confidentiality agreements
- Corporate maintenance/corporate governance
- General legal information
At the start of the fall term, the WBLC Directors will hire twelve 1L volunteers for a three-year commitment to the Clinic, who will work on client files alongside a 2L Case Manager and 3L Mentor.
Caseworkers will gain valuable experience and have opportunities to develop client relations, draft contracts and hone their legal research and writing skills. First-year students will have the opportunity to undertake work on a variety of topics, which include: corporate structure; corporate governance; employment law; and intellectual property. The Clinic organizes regular training and professional development events to complement the skills gained from working with clients. Toronto law firm McMillan LLP generously donates the time of its professional lawyers to provide training sessions for the Clinic each school year.
If you are eager to gain practical business law experience in a supportive environment, we encourage you to apply to the Western Business Law Clinic. Please note that past business experience is not required.
Faculty Director: Richard McLaren
Faculty Review Counsel: Philip King
Student Directors: Cindy Kim and Krista Yip-Chuck (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summer Caseworkers: Conner Sipa, Lipika Singh and Parish Bhumgara
For more information, please contact the Student Directors or visit our webpage: www.law.uwo.ca/legal_clinics/western_business_law_clinic/index.html
Sports Solution Clinic
Sport Solution offers Canada’s national team athletes free access to information, assistance and advice on sport-related legal issues. The only program of its kind in North America, the services of Sport Solution are available to all members of AthletesCAN (The Association of Canada’s National Team Athletes). Sport Solution assists with issues related to team selection, carding (athlete funding), discipline, doping, athlete agreements, arbitration and mediation. The clinic also offers athletes guidance on how to avoid conflict and advocates for the fair administration of sport in Canada. Sport Solution provides an excellent opportunity for students to practically apply their studies to the interesting and dynamic area of Sport Law. At the start of the fall term, the Sport Solution Program Managers will hire 1L volunteer case workers to research files and assist athletes in resolving their disputes throughout the year. In addition, interested students may apply during the Spring term for a Program Manager position. The Program Manager position is paid employment during the summer months following the 1L year.
Faculty Director: Layth Gafoor
Program Managers: Margaret MacKinnon, Tyler O’Henly, Christina Skinner, Matt McGuckin, and Vanetia R.
For more information, please contact the Program Managers at: email@example.com
Pro Bono Students Canada
Pro Bono Students Canada is an award-winning program that provides free legal services to non-profit organizations and low-income Canadians in 20 cities from coast to coast. For over two decades, PBSC has been training law student volunteers to help vulnerable Canadians with their essential legal needs. Partnering with courts, community organizations and law firms, PBSC offers innovative, high-impact placements in all areas of the law. Operating in 22 law schools across Canada, PBSC has exposed generations of law students to the value of pro bono service, helping to create a culture of public service in the legal profession. For the 2019-2020 academic year, PBSC Western is offering 29 unique placements and will be recruiting over 80 student volunteers in the following categories:
- Legal Clinic Externships: Students volunteer at a legal clinic providing research assistance, meeting with clients, and drafting submissions.
- Legal Research: Students are involved in internships ranging from providing legal information to helping homeless people get government identification. Students may also research diverse topics ranging from environmental law, employment law, non-profit corporate law, and human rights.
- Public Legal Education: Students prepare public legal information materials and present them at local schools, clinics, and organizations.
- Family Law Project (FLP): Students attend the courthouse to offer guidance and assistance with family-law related matters under the supervision of acting duty counsel.
- Small Claims Court Project (SCCP): Students help clients navigate the often confusing Small Claims Court system by drafting court documents and working with London lawyers to prepare clients for trials.
Harrison Neill Morabito & Sarah Hagarty
Pro Bono Students Canada
Western Law Program Coordinators
(t): 519-661-2111 x81195