Instructor(s): Diana Dimmer
Administrative Law; First Year: Administrative Law
Externship Seminar

3 credits (ungraded)

The Municipal Government Lawyering externships allow students to experience directly the legal work of a large municipal government. This program is available for up to 10 students. Students will be exposed to a variety of the legal work carried out by the City of Torontos Legal Services Division. The Division provides a broad range of legal services including Litigation, Real Estate, Planning and Administrative Law, Employment Law and Municipal Law. The Legal Services Division also functions as a strategic resource to Council, staff and the City's agencies, boards and commissions.

Students participating in the City Government Clinic will have an opportunity to develop their legal skills in a practice setting, including conducting legal research and drafting court documents. Students will develop a broad understanding of municipal government law by attending on matters with experienced lawyers in the City of Torontos Legal Services Division.

While fieldwork assignments will necessarily vary from term to term, and from student to student, students enrolled in this externship can expect to be exposed to the following fundamental skills:

  • problem solving,
  • legal analysis and reasoning,
  • legal research,
  • factual investigation,
  • communication,
  • negotiation,
  • litigation,
  • alternative dispute resolution procedures,
  • organization and management of legal work, and
  • recognizing and resolving ethical dilemmas.
  • Training:
    Students will meet at Metro Hall (King & John Streets in Downtown Toronto) weekly on Monday evenings from 5:00-6:15 p.m. Early in the term these meetings will consist of a short series of lectures and presentations by City lawyers. These sessions will review key municipal law issues including: overview of governing legislation, municipal jurisdiction, Committee and Council structure, municipal by-laws and legal challenges to by-laws. Students will also develop an understanding of the professional responsibility of lawyers working for a municipal government.

    Students will be assigned work to do on their own time. Office space will not be provided at the City. Arrangements will be made for students to attend a City Council meeting, a Committee meeting and an Ontario Municipal Board Hearing, amongst other attendances. Students will prepare legal memoranda based on their own research on current issues and draft a variety of legal documents, including court documents.

    This Clinic uses the standard course selection process. Select this course as you would any other.

    Satisfactory attendance, written work, and performance will earn three ungraded credits.

    At a Glance

    Second Term


    10 JD