You are now in the main content area

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Two students discuss a paper together
Contribute to equity, access to justice, and innovation through action

In addition to the valuable academic and Integrated Practice Curriculum education that students receive in the classroom, the Lincoln Alexander School of Law offers students experiential learning opportunities, which typically involve helping real people with real legal problems.

In line with the Lincoln Alexander School of Law’s four key pillars, these opportunities are offered in relation to equity, access to justice, and innovation and technology. Students have the chance to work with clients, develop practical legal knowledge and skills, and grow their professional legal networks. As part of these opportunities, students typically work on actual cases, research, and/or public legal education materials, under the supervision and guidance of highly skilled lawyers and professionals with considerable expertise.

The Lincoln Alexander School of Law’s experiential learning programs are funded in part by the Law Foundation of Ontario (external link) .

2023-24 Experiential Learning Opportunities

During the 2023-24 academic year, over 85 students were placed across 13 experiential learning opportunities, which include:

The Refugee Law Team offers students a variety of ways to engage with the practice of refugee law. Students are introduced to this area of law and will build and develop practical and litigation skills including client interviewing, reporting to/taking direction from supervising lawyers, legal research and drafting, and oral advocacy. There are 3 options available to students:

  • RLO option: students work with lawyers at Legal Aid Ontario’s Refugee Law Office (RLO), assisting their clients with a range of legal issues relating to immigration and refugee law.
  • UNHCR option: students work closely with a lead litigator for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, preparing research briefs in support of UN interventions.
  • CCVT option: Students will work with caseworkers at the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT), and affiliated lawyers, to assist the Centre’s clients. The students will primarily be helping to file sponsorship applications, and will also help with other kinds of immigration and refugee law work.

The School of Child and Youth Care in Toronto Metropolitan University’s Faculty of Community Services is beginning a new project that aims to address gaps in services for Indigenous youth who are dually involved in the child welfare and youth justice systems in various provinces. This project involves forming a cross-discipline Graduate Student Hub, which will include graduate students from child and youth care, social work, law, psychology and journalism.  The overarching goals of the project include reducing the number of Indigenous youth who cross from the child welfare system into the adult criminal justice system; reducing the amount of time Indigenous youth spend in custody and in the youth justice system; offering cross sectoral training (including to those in the justice system) regarding working with Indigenous youth; and encouraging more respectful, equitable, trauma-informed, and anti-oppressive service provision to Indigenous youth.

Fair Change Community Services is a student-run and lawyer-supervised pro bono legal clinic, which supports street-involved individuals in addressing their provincial offence tickets.  Fair Change seeks to address clients’ limitations and financial burdens by reducing debt from accrued fines for things like panhandling and loitering.  Student advocates provide legal support and representation at pre-hearing negotiations, hearings of first instance, and appeal hearings to reduce fines. Four Lincoln Alexander School of Law student coordinators established the law school’s chapter, which is in its inaugural year.

This clinical opportunity involves a collaboration and partnership between Gilberts LLP and Lincoln Alexander School of Law, which aims to assist low-income and under-represented clients on a pro bono basis to develop their startup companies and ideas.  Slingshot is designed to provide community members with the legal tools their businesses need to succeed.  This expanding partnership involves law students working with and in the community under the supervision of experienced lawyers in the startup and commercial law space.

Human Rights Services (HRS) is a unit within the Office of the Vice-President of Equity and Community Inclusion at Toronto Metropolitan University. HRS supports and works with the university community to ensure that study, work, and living environments are free of discrimination and harassment, in accordance with Ontario’s Human Rights Code. 

The Young Workers Rights Hub (YWRH) is based out of Toronto Metropolitan University’s Faculty of Arts, and promotes awareness of young workers’ rights on the job, including how to exercise and advance those rights.  Lincoln Alexander Law students will join the YWRH as Student Peer Leaders and will work on various young workers’ rights related projects.

The Pardons Clinic will allow students to gain hands-on experiences with helping qualifying individuals to remove their criminal convictions from police databases, provincial and national databases, and customs and border agencies. Record suspensions, often referred to as “pardons”, are submitted to the Parole Board of Canada for approval. Record suspensions can provide many individuals with the opportunity to remove some of the barriers that they may face as a result of a criminal record, such as the ability to access employment, housing, loans, and even the ability to remain in the country or gain citizenship. The Clinic will aim to ease the stress, difficulty of navigating the application process, and financial costs that can be associated with seeking a record suspension, while providing students with a valuable clinical learning experience.