Externships

When we can forge a productive partnership with an outside organization that extends the depth and breadth of the learning opportunities we can offer students, the Faculty places students in legal clinics to do hands-on work under the careful supervision of experienced lawyers.  The Faculty centers these opportunities on social justice initiatives, including good government practices and access to justice.  Our external partners do not charge students’ time to paying clients.

Externships in recent years have included:

  • Aboriginal Legal Services Toronto
  • Advocates for Injured Workers
  • Appellate Criminal Litigation
  • Barbra Schlifer Clinic
  • Board Governance
  • Citizen Lab
  • City of Toronto Municipal Government
  • Environmental Law Practicum
  • Health Justice Initiative at St. Michael's Hospital
  • Innocence Canada
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Legislative Assembly Statutory Interpretation
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Litigation
  • Ontario Human Rights Commission
  • Pro Bono Ontario Litigation
  • Structural Genomics Consortium

Externship Seminar

Students working in externships must enrol in an Externship Seminar as a co-requisite during the first semester their externship meets.  (Students in yearlong placements need not attend their Externship Seminar during the second term of their placement.)

Externship seminars meets six times a year:  twice early in the term, twice in the middle of the term, and twice toward the end of the term.  Students are encouraged to reflect on their individual experiences in the practice of law in light of the more theoretical approaches taught in their doctrinal courses, consider professional and ethical challenges in their placement, and develop their understanding of legal institutions.  Students who enrol in more than one externship are required to enrol in an Externship Seminar for each placement.

Credit Weight and Time Commitment

The credit weight of externship placements is designed to correspond to the time commitments for similarly weighted doctrinal courses.  An externship that offers two credits should involve six to eight hours of work a week; a three-credit externship should involve nine to twelve hours of work a week; and a four-credit hour externship should involve twelve to sixteen hours of work a week.  That work may take place on- or off-site, depending on the needs and availability of space at the placement.

Students should expect their workload to fluctuate from week-to-week, as real life case work can be deadline intensive and therefore make varying demands on a lawyer’s time.  However, even during heavy work periods the time demands of a placement may not exceed 1.5 times the maximum hours of work estimated for that placement’s credit weight.  Under no circumstances will a student working in a two-credit clinic work more than 12 hours in a week;  students working in a three-credit clinic will not work more than eighteen hours in a week, and students in a four-credit clinic will not work more than twenty-four hours in a week.

Please consult the Course Calendar to see what is offered this year.