Community Legal Services
Community Legal Services (CLS) is a teaching legal clinic, within the Faculty of Law, where law students, under the supervision of the clinic’s lawyers, handle legal files on behalf of marginalized and low-income individuals in London, as well as Western and Fanshawe College students. Our services are completely free of charge.
While there are lots of experiential learning initiatives at Western, CLS presents the only opportunity available for law students to appear in courts or tribunals representing real clients on real cases. Students handle files from the initial client interview all the way to settlement or trial. With its expansive facilities in Room 126, CLS has a modern and updated clinical space where students can learn and collaborate. We provide important access to justice services ensuring community members in need have representation that is unavailable anywhere else. We handle hundreds of files per year and provide brief legal advice to many other individuals. CLS primarily covers the following areas of law:
- Criminal law (summary conviction matters) and Provincial Offences
- Small Claims Court
- Landlord and Tenant
- Family Law
- 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, file management, and courtroom advocacy. Many graduates feel their experience in CLS gave them an advantage in the job market.
First-year students are able to participate in the clinic as “Associate Caseworkers.” In this role, they shadow a senior student (Team Leader) and get exposure to:
- CLS Training
- Duty hours
- Client intakes
- Client meeting as a note taker
- Court or tribunal appearance
- Meeting with a Review Counsel
- Public Legal Education opportunities
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 20-25 first year students will be selected. Watch for more details!
CLS also hires about 8 students each summer to work in the clinic full-time. These students become very well versed in our processes and client services. These students then go on to become CLS Team Leaders in the following academic year. First year students may apply for this opportunity. Watch for the job posting and recruitment information in January.
Second and third year law students may choose from a selection of courses including Introduction to Clinical Law (recommended for 2L’s), Advanced Clinical Law is offered with a focus on Civil, Family or Criminal for those who already know what area of law they want to focus on. Introduction to Clinical Law is a pre-requisite for the Advanced courses.
We look forward to having you take part in CLS and welcome any questions you may have.
Dispute Resolution Centre
The Dispute Resolution Centre (DRC) is a not-for-profit organization that provides alternative dispute resolution (ADR) training to students. It is operated by Western Law students under the supervision of the DRC Faculty Supervisor. Each year, the DRC takes on a select number of Student Interns to learn about ADR while attending hands-on mediation and negotiation training every other week throughout the school year.
Negotiation is a crucial step in all litigated cases. Mediation is also appropriate for many areas of law such as contract breaches, debts, neighbor disputes, evictions, employment disputes, peace bonds, and many other issues. As both negotiators and mediators, Interns will learn to resolve disputes in a fair and cost-effective way, which avoids the burdens of the court system.
The ADR Internship allows students to develop a strong and unique set of skills that are invaluable and applicable to all areas of legal practice. The program is intensive, and Interns should expect to commit an average of 3 hours of their time per bi-weekly session, 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.
Western Business Law Clinic
The Western Business Law Clinic (WBLC) provides legal services and information to small and early-stage businesses, entrepreneurs, partnerships, 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 including corporate structuring, corporate governance, employment law, and drafting other legal agreements and memoranda. The Clinic organizes regular training and professional development events to complement the skills gained from working with clients. Lawyers from the Toronto law firm McMillan LLP generously donate their time 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 WBLC. Applications will be accepted until September 10th at 11:59 PM. Your application should consist of a (maximum) two-page resume and a one-page cover letter. Please address your cover letter to Professor King (Faculty Review Counsel), Faraneh Talaei and Rahib Ahmad (Student Directors). To apply to the WBLC, please submit your application to the Student Directors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that past business experience is not required.
Faculty Review Counsel: Philip King
Student Directors: Rahib Ahmad and Faraneh Talaei
Summer Caseworkers: Shree Gandhi, Sam MacDougall and Shea Neals
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
The Sport Solution Clinic is the only program of its kind in North America. The Clinic is a program of AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team and Olympic-level athletes, in conjunction with Western Law.
Sport Solution offers Canada’s national team and Olympic-level athletes’ access to information, assistance, and advice on a range of sport-related legal issues. The Clinic has helped resolve team selection, carding (athlete funding), discipline, safe sport, and doping disputes. The Clinic also offers athletes guidance on how to avoid conflict and are 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, Sport Solution hires 1L volunteer Caseworkers, whose responsibilities range from legal research to assisting with drafting documents.
In the spring term, interested students may apply for a Program Manager position. The Program Manager position is paid employment during the summer months following the 1L year. There is also an opportunity to be hired as an upper year volunteer Case Manager for the duration of the school year.
Supervising Lawyer: Amanda Fowler
Program Managers: Brittany Bates, Greg Cherniak, Hannah Dobie, Rheanna Geisel, Tyler Matthews, and Isaac Papsin
For more information, please contact the Program Managers at: email@example.com or visit their Instagram page @sportsolution.
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 2021-2022 academic year, PBSC Western is offering 25 unique placements and will be recruiting over 60 student volunteers in the following categories:
- Client Assistance: 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, landlord and tenant law and human rights.
- Public Legal Education: Students prepare public legal information materials and present them at local schools, clinics, and organizations. Public legal eduation may also include creating education documents to be distributed by our community partners.
Andrea Lee & Tanya Soni
Phone: 519-661-2111 Ext. 81195