Current Projects 2021-2022

Public Legal Education

Atlohsa Family Law Project

Description: Family law issues are incredibly complex, and the community members that Atlohsa works with would benefit from having information synthesized into accessible formats. The project will specifically focus on the issue of divorce. Within that, how property is divided, spousal support, child custody, and child support. The research will include information on the Family Law Court process related to those subjects for those living both on, and off reserve.  The research should consider how the issues are addressed in the common legal system in relation to Indigenous peoples, and what issues arise from this system. The final deliverable will be a plain language resource for the Indigenous peoples that Atlohsa works with.  The final deliverable could be a brochure, flow-chart, podcasts, or the format that best suits the final research, which will be decided in conjunction with the partner organization and lawyer supervisor.

Organization: Atlohsa

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Aboriginal law, family law

Number of Students: Four students

Prerequisites/ assets: N/A

Eligible to apply: 1L, 2L, 3L

Atlohsa Restorative Justice Project

Description: Indigenous restorative justice circles have been effectively used to facilitate a peacemaking process where local Elders from Anishinaabek, Haudenoshaunee, and Lene-Lenape nations provide culture-based guidance for all members of the family through various stages of life. To provide educational opportunities to community members, student volunteers will create plain language fact sheets for families, and for victims and offenders which would communicate what restorative justice opportunities exist, how it works, who can participate, how it is beneficial, and what follow-up looks like.

Organization: Atlohsa

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Alternative dispute resolution, Indigenous law

Number of Students: Two students

Prerequisites/ assets: Courses in Indigenous law is an asset, and research experience.

Eligible to apply: 2L, 3L

Canadian Environmental Law Association Project

Description: CELA has a priority focus on climate change and equity. This project will be focused on furthering environmental justice with relation to climate change and equity. Students will create a research memorandum, and then develop a plain language presentation and other public outreach documents.

Organization: Canadian Environmental Law Association

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Environmental law, human rights law.

Number of Students: One student

Prerequisites/ assets: Student must have taken or currently taking administrative law. It is preferable that the student has taken environmental law.

Eligible to apply: 2L, 3L

Community Living London Guardianship and POA Project

Description: Community Living London supports individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. This project will be focused on providing plain language legal information on capacity to consent and guardianship. This information would outline how capacity is determined and what role a guardian has. The final product will be an informational document designed to be used by the families of adults with developmental disabilities to understand their obligations and their child’s rights. The students will have the opportunity to present this information to the families of adults with developmental disabilities.

Organization: Community Living London

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Family law, health law, disability law.

Number of Students: Two students

Prerequisites/ assets: N/A

Eligible to apply: 1L, 2L, 3L

Community Workshops

Description: CLS Workshop project is delivering public legal education to the community partners of the CLS. Student volunteers will be responsible for preparing and delivering presentations. This will include conducting legal research and preparing public legal education (PLE) material on legal topics as identified by the Project Leads. This can include introduction to the Residential Tenancies Act, introduction to Human Rights, Youth Criminal Justice Act, and introduction to Consumer Protection Laws.

Organization: Community Legal Services

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Housing law, employment law, family law, criminal law.

Number of Students: Six students

Prerequisites/ assets: N/A

Eligible to apply: 1L, 2L, 3L

Indigenous and Aboriginal Law Education Project

Description: In partnership with the Department of Anthropology, the students will be creating plain language presentations on legal issues pertaining to the rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Outreach Coordinators for the Western Anthropology Graduate Society have started to create a  multi-lesson education module on the structural racism facing Indigenous Peoples in Canada from an anthropological perspective. The next step of their research is including the legal perspective. The topics that will be explored are landmark cases on Indigenous legal issues (ex. R v Sparrow, R v Van der Peet, Tsilhqot’in Nation v BC), Aboriginal Title, Aboriginal Rights, the Indian Act, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The presentations will be posted on Western’s Department of Anthropology website as a resource for educators as they will be designed to align with the Ontario secondary school curricula. The target audience for the presentations will be Ontario secondary school students.

Organization: Western Anthropology Graduate Society

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Indigenous law, Aboriginal law, constitutional law, criminal law, human rights.

Number of Students: Three students

Prerequisites/ assets: Given the nature of the target audience, we welcome applications from an Indigenous, Inuit, or Métis student, and/or  students passionate  about  reducing  injustices  for  Indigenous  peoples. Passionate about education and creating educational opportunities.

Eligible to apply: 1L, 2L, 3L

Legal Line Project

Description: Legal Line provides access to Canadian laws in plain language. Legal Line has covered over 47 areas of law including business law, injury law, cyber law, child custody and immigration law.  Students will assist Legal Line by helping edit and produce content for the website. The student will learn how to: (i) translate ‘legalese’ into plain language, (ii) understand what is most important when communicating with the end user (who is akin to a client), (iii) be able to break-down legal concepts and information into meaningful, yet understandable answers, (iv) get a broad and general scope of the magnitude of the laws and legal system in Canada, (v) improve access to justice for our citizens. 

Organization: Legal Line

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: General project, will address many areas of law.

Number of Students: One student

Prerequisites/ assets: Strong writing and legal interpretation skills.

Eligible to apply: 2L, 3L

LIFE*SPIN Assistive Devices Project

Description: This project will be focused on creating plain language resources for people with a low income explaining how to access funding for assistive devices. This will require research of the relevant legislation including the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, Ontario Works Act, and O. Reg 191/11: Integrated Accessibility Standards under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

Organization: LIFE*SPIN

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Poverty law, social assistance, disability law.

Number of Students: Two students

Prerequisites/ assets: Interest in poverty and disability law is an asset

Eligible to apply: 1L, 2L, 3L

London Cares ID Project

Description: This project will focus on the rights of someone transitioning with regards to their ID. This includes the process of changing their ID, and any rights that may accompany that. Since London Cares is a homelessness response service, students will also research the rights of people transitioning and their access to shelters and what identification is required for that. A secondary part of this project will be assisting London Cares with the ID clinic, only if it is able to operate in person according to public health guidelines and the university mandate allows in person volunteering. The ID clinic is run by the City of London in association with London Cares twice a year.  London Cares provides volunteers from their organization to help community members fill out forms associated with the ID that they need. This clinic will help with various IDs, but the common one is Indian Status Cards.

Organization: London Cares

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Identification, housing law, human rights

Number of Students: One student

Prerequisites/ assets: Passionate about working with social services and non-profits

Eligible to apply: 1L, 2L, 3L

London Cares Landlord Tenant Project

Description: London Cares aims to improve the health and housing outcomes of individuals experiencing homelessness, or are precariously housed in London, Ontario. This project will provide a plain language description of the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords with regards to the Residential Tenancies Act, the process of filing with the Landlord Tenant Board and understanding eviction forms. The project will  also  include reviewing  London  by-laws  and  their  impact  on individuals experiencing homelessness.

Organization: London Cares

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Housing law

Number of Students: Two students

Prerequisites/ assets: Passionate about working with social services and non-profits

Eligible to apply: 1L, 2L, 3L

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants Project

Description: Settlement.Org is facilitated by OCASI and provides newcomers with an electronic community to find information, read relevant news, ask questions, share their experiences with others, and access a database of community organizations. The Settlement.Org moderated discussion forum works to answer questions with well-researched legal information. Students will aid in answering questions from the discussion forum providing detailed legal information in plain language, as well as in making competent referrals to lawyers and services offline to deal with legal problems. Students will conduct research into questions asked by those experiencing issues because of the immigration process –and will help draft legally informative answers in the form of memos.

Organization: Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Immigration Law

Number of Students: Two students

Prerequisites/ assets: Interest in immigration law is an asset, but not required.

Eligible to apply: 1L, 2L, 3L

PHSS Community COVID-19 Research Project

Description: HSS serves a wide community of people. This project will be designed to serve the clients that PHSS Community works with and their legal rights during the pandemic with regards to masks, vaccines, and other public health measures. Specifically:  the rights of employees, medical accommodations, accommodations for people with disabilities, and information for families and supports of people with disabilities during COVID-19. The primary deliverable will be public education documents to be given to clients of PHSS, their families, and supports.

Organization: PHSS Community

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Employment and labour law, health law, and human rights.

Number of Students: Three students

Prerequisites/ assets: Health law and employment law would be an asset. Previous work with people with disabilities and an interest in the COVID-19 vaccination process is an asset.

Eligible to apply: 2L, 3L

Pro Bono Radio

Description: Students will prepare radio shows to discuss important legal issues or interesting and unique/obscure legal topics that stimulate interest and provide information. The radio show will inform the public by providing various perspectives on a topical legal issue in an accessible way but will not look to provide legal opinions or advice on any subjects. Each episode must be structured with proper scripts, use simple language, and should be designed to catch the audience’s attention

Organization: Radio Western

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: General

Number of Students: Three students

Prerequisites/ assets: Students should be passionate about legal education and strong public speakers

Eligible to apply: 1L, 2L, 3L

Project Consent

Description: Project Consent is a public legal education program that is focused on providing objective legal information to high school students (potentially junior high) about consent, sexual assault, and their legal options if they are a victim of these types of crimes. Project Consent was developed by Western Law students in 2019 to help youth understand consent and the legal aspects of consent. Student volunteers will give presentations on consent, sexual assault, and sexting to high schools within the London area as directed by the Project Leads. Student volunteers will create presentations and a short memo summarizing the law around sexual assault and the options victims have.

Organization: Community Legal Services

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Criminal law, human rights, health law.

Number of Students: Fourteen students

Prerequisites/ assets: N/A

Eligible to apply: 1L, 2L, 3L

Society of Graduate Students Environmental Law Project

Description: SOGS has declared a climate emergency and are looking to learn about environmental law. This project will involve creating plain language documents explaining specific municipal by-laws in London, as well as the provincial and federal regulations and legislation. The documents created may be made available as a resource to other organizations.

Organization: Society of Graduate Students

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Environmental law

Number of Students: Two students

Prerequisites/ assets: Interest in municipal by-laws and environmental law is an asset.

Eligible to apply: 1L, 2L, 3L

Urban Haven Migrant Workers Project

Description: Urban Haven has moved into supporting rural communities and have started supporting migrant workers. This project will focus on exploring the Canadian labour laws in relation to migrant workers. This will include, but not be limited to: contractual expectations, what happens if a person loses their job, health and safety expectations and the specific rights that apply to seasonal agricultural workers. The final deliverable will be an informational document that can be distributed to migrant workers.

Organization: Urban Haven Project

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Labour and employment law

Number of Students: Two students

Prerequisites/ assets: N/A

Eligible to apply: 1L, 2L, 3L

Urban Haven Part Worker Rights

Description: Many of the individuals that Urban Haven works with are part-time workers. This project will focus on the rights or part-time workers by exploring relevant legislation including the Employment Standards Act, Labour Relations Act, Pay Equity Act, and Occupational Health and Safety Act. The research should explore topics like part-time benefits, union eligibility, compensation, and safety in the workplace. The final deliverable will be a plain language informational document that can be distributed to the community Urban Haven works with.

Organization: Urban Haven Project

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Labour and employment law

Number of Students: Two students

Prerequisites/ assets: N/A

Eligible to apply: 1L, 2L, 3L

Youth Opportunities Unlimited Landlord Tenant Law Project

Description: This project will be focused on creating plain language resources for tenants to understand their rights according to the Residential Tenancies Act. Part of the final deliverable will explain the different eviction notices that tenants can be presented with and possible next steps. The secondary part of the project will be creating plain language resources for landlords to understand their obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act.

Organization: Youth Opportunities Unlimited

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Housing law

Number of Students: Two students

Prerequisites/ assets: Passionate about working with vulnerable populations within the London community.

Eligible to apply: 1L, 2L, 3L

Legal Research and Writing

CCLA RightsWatch

Description: Students will be assigned a particular court or legislative assembly to monitor. Monitoring will consist of checking for new decisions on a weekly or biweekly basis and identifying those that may be of interest to CCLA and/or raise potential civil liberties or human rights issues. Where a case is identified as potentially of interest, students will complete a form to be submitted to CCLA which will provide a brief summary of the decision and identify the key issues that may be of interest to the CCLA.

 

Some students will monitor the legislative assembly of a province/territory and scan for new bills and/or new work by committees. Monitoring will take place on a weekly or biweekly basis. Students are expected to identify new legislation or committee work that gives rise to potential civil liberties or human rights concerns and flag those for CCLA’s attention. Once again, students will complete a form to be submitted to CCLA which will provide a brief summary of the legislation/committee work and identify the key issues that may be of interest to the CCLA.

Organization: CCLA

Type of Project: Research

Area of Law: Constitutional law, human rights, criminal, administrative, civil law.

Number of Students: One student

Prerequisites/ assets: Constitutional law is strongly preferred, and students should be engaged and interested in current events and a commitment to social justice.

Eligible to apply: 2L, 3L

Elgin Oxford Legal Clinic Indigenous Wills and Estates

Description: The project will assist Elgin Oxford Legal Clinic in conducting legal research on Aboriginal Law, specifically with wills and estates. EOLC serves First Nation, Inuit, and Metis communities residing in Oneida of the Thames, Chippewa of the Thames, and Munsee-Delaware First Nations, Elgin and Oxford Counties, and London-Middlesex. Differences in wills and estate between First Nations who signed Treaties (Chippewa) and First Nations who purchased lands (Oneida) will be explored. In particular, whether there are differences between people living on-reserve as opposed to off-reserve. The student will draft a legal memorandum and a policy paper based on the research.

Organization: Elgin Oxford Legal Clinic

Type of Project: Research

Area of Law: Aboriginal law, wills and estates.

Number of Students: One student

Prerequisites/ assets: Previous courses in Aboriginal law and wills and estates are an asset, but not required.

Eligible to apply: 1L, 2L, 3L

UN Special Rapporteur Project

Description: In May 2016, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council appointed Professor Michael Lynk as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967, UN Special Rapporteurs act independently of governments and the United Nations and are mandated to examine, monitor, advice and publicly report on human rights violations. The students will be expected to conduct research on international human rights and humanitarian law and its application with respect to the Middle East conflict. The students’ work will assist Professor Michael Lynk in producing a report for the United Nations Human Rights Council and the United Nations General Assembly to be delivered in March 2022.

Organization: United Nations

Type of Project: Research

Area of Law: International law, human rights.

Number of Students: Two students

Prerequisites/ assets: Course in international law is an asset, but not required. Strong research and writing skills are required.

Eligible to apply: 2L, 3L.

Client Assistance

Elgin Oxford Legal Clinic Client Assistance

Description: Elgin Oxford Legal Clinic works with individuals living on a low income in Elgin and Oxford County. The student volunteers will be assisting EOLC with their virtual client intake. The files that students will primarily be working on will pertain to Ontario Works appeals, Ontario Disability Support Program appeals, and Canadian Pension Plan disability appeals. Students will not be providing legal advice and will always have access to a lawyer during intake if there are questions that exceed their ability to answer.

Organization: Elgin Oxford Legal Clinic

Type of Project: Client Services

Area of Law: Various areas of law, but may include employment law, housing law etc. 

Number of Students: One to three students

Prerequisites/ assets: N/A

Eligible to apply: 1L, 2L, 3L

Huron Perth Legal Clinic

Description: Students will assist the Huron Perth Legal Clinic in conducting legal research on their active cases for residents of Huron and Peth Counties with low-income. Some of the topics will include human rights, housing law, and consumer protection law. The student  volunteer will  be responsible  for  conducting  reviews  of  legislation  and  cases that relate  to  active  cases. 

Organization: Huron Perth Legal Clinic

Type of Project: Client Services

Area of Law: Human rights, housing law, poverty law, consumer protection law.

Number of Students: One student

Prerequisites/ assets: N/A

Eligible to apply: 1L, 2L, 3L

N’Amerind Gladue Writer Program

Description: Students will assist the N’Amerind Friendship centre draft and write Gladue reports for Indigenous clients facing legal issues. A Gladue report is a pre-sentencing and bail hearing report specifically used when considering sentencing an Indigenous person. The student volunteer will assist in the drafting of Gladue reports.

Organization: N’Amerind Friendship Centre

Type of Project: Client Services

Area of Law: Criminal law, Indigenous law, Aboriginal law.

Number of Students: One student.

Prerequisites/ assets: Courses in criminal law and Indigenous law are an asset, but not required.

Eligible to apply: 1L, 2L, 3L

Neighbourhood Legal Services

Description: Students will assist lawyers at NLSLM draft memos, conduct client intake over the phone, and assist with legal files and research. The students will be assisting with issues regarding Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Programs, Canada Pension Plan, Landlord Tenant law, and employment law. Students will also assist in pre-trial preparation under the direct supervision of the supervising lawyer, as well as potentially accompany lawyers and clients to trial. Note: students are not permitted to offer legal advice.

Organization: Neighbourhood Legal Services London & Middlesex

Type of Project: Client Services and Research

Area of Law: Housing law, poverty law, social assistance, employment law, and labour law.

Number of Students: Two students

Prerequisites/ assets: 3L student is preferred, strong research skills, experience working in front-line and/or clinical setting is an asset.

Eligible to apply: 2L, 3L