CLS for Law Students

Second and Third Year Students

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 one of three clinical courses: Litigation Practice, Criminal Law Advocacy, and Advanced Litigation Practice. There are also some specialized teams (non-credit) where students can volunteer.

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. All cases are closely supervised by CLS lawyers.

Under the leadership of CLS Director Doug Ferguson, CLS lawyers (called review counsel) supervise around 1,000 files per year.

First Year Students

CLS takes a total of 32 1L students, half in each semester. As an associate caseworker, you will be assigned to an upper year student supervisor. You will meet weekly with the supervisor, and you will:

  • Attend a minimum of two duty hours
  • Attend at least one court or tribunal hearing
  • Participate in a Public Legal Education project
  • Attend a minimum of two intake interviews with new clients
  • Research an area of law for a client file
  • Attend a trial preparation meeting

Look for a notice for 1L opportunities during September.

Summer Students

CLS hires around 10 law students for summer positions. These students remain with CLS in the following academic year to act as supervisors who assist the other students working in the clinic. Look for our hiring announcement in January.