CLS for Law Students

First Year Students

The CLS Associate Caseworker Program provides 1L students with the opportunity to volunteer in a legal clinic under the mentorship of an upper year student caseworker and Review Counsel. This shadowing opportunity provides students with meaningful exposure to active legal files and encourages development of key legal skills. We strive to bring law students together to share resources, meet community legal needs, and develop a strong team.  1L Associates have the opportunity to…

  • Attend duty hours
  • Attend court or a tribunal hearing
  • Participate in a Public Legal Education project
  • Attend meetings with Review Counsel
  • Attend an intake interview with a new client

1L recruitment for these positions typically occurs in early October.  Watch the SLS daily for details on how to apply.  Even if you do not participate as first year CLS Associate Caseworker there are still lots of opportunities to get involved in our clinic courses noted below.

Second and Third Year Students

Community Legal Services (CLS) is a leader among Canadian clinics with its facilities, innovative approach, and its commitment to access to justice.

Community Legal Services gives you:

  • The opportunity to experience the practice of law in a real life setting.
  • The chance to help low income persons in the community who have nowhere else to turn for help with their legal problems.
  • The ability to improve your learning skills by putting to work what you have learned in class.
  • An advantage when you attend articling interviews with the experience you receive.

To qualify as a Caseworker, 2L and 3L students must take

Intro to Clinical Law – This is a full year, 6 credit course.  Students are trained in the policies and procedures of the clinic as well as introductory lessons in each area of law.  Students take carriage of a variety of client files which may include Small Claims Court, Landlord/Tenant matters, Criminal and Provincial Offences as well as Family Law and work under the direct supervision of Clinic lawyers (aka Review Counsel) to ensure they are supported in these tasks.

Students who complete Intro to Clinical Law in second year are eligible to take one of the following clinic courses in 3rd year:

Advanced Clinical Law (Family)
Advanced Clinical Law (Civil)
Advanced Clinical Law (Criminal)

All Advanced Clinical Law courses are full year, 6 credit courses.  While taking these courses, students are assigned the carriage of files in their designated area of law.  Students attend classroom training in those areas of law as well as group discussions focusing on file specific issues, challenges and strategies.

CLS Caseworkers handle all aspects of a client file, from first interview all the way to trial. You will have a real client, with a real file and you appear in front of a real judge.

Summer Students

CLS hires around 8-10 law students for full time paid summer positions. These students remain with CLS in the following academic year to act as volunteer Team Leaders who assist the other students working in the clinic. Students hired for summer positions are expected to take a clinical course in the academic year following their summer position.  Look for our hiring announcement in January.