Instructor(s): Bhavan Sodhi, Stéphanie Nowak
Externship Seminar

Two credits (ungraded)

Max Enrol: 2 JD. See details on how to register below.

Note: Students must participate in the winter term Externship Seminar.

Prerequisites: One of either Criminal Procedure, Evidence Law, or Wrongful Convictions.

The Innocence Canada externships allow students to experience directly the legal work of a non-profit organization working to overturn the criminal convictions of innocent people. This program is available for up to two students. Students will be exposed to a variety of legal work in the area of criminal law carried out by Innocence Canada such as drafting s. 696.1 applications, reviewing police investigatory files, trial transcripts and appeals motions, and assisting with bail applications.

Students participating in the Innocence Canada externship will have an opportunity to develop their legal skills in a highly specialized criminal law setting. Students will develop an understanding of wrongful convictions and criminal law more broadly, by working directly with experienced lawyers on active case files.

While 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:

1. problem solving,
2. legal analysis and reasoning,
3. legal research,
4. factual investigation,
5. communication,
6. investigative work,
7. organization and management of legal work,
8. recognizing causes of wrongful conviction in practice, and
9. identifying and exploring new avenues of fresh evidence.

Students will meet at Innocence Canada (111 Peter Street) weekly on Monday evenings from 5:00-6:00 p.m. The first of these meetings will consist of an introduction to Innocence Canada, wrongful convictions work and our priority cases. Additionally, all students will be required to sign a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement at the first meeting. The following weeks will be an opportunity to discuss the progress of students work and cases, and assign new work.

Students will be assigned work to do on their own time, over one or two shifts a week. Office space will be provided at the Innocence Canada office; however students will need to bring their laptops. It should be noted that certain files will only be accessible on-site; for these files, students will be required to work at the Innocence Canada office for a total of 6-8 hours during regular office hours (Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m.--Fridays are not an option). Students will prepare legal memoranda based on their own research on current issues. There may be an opportunity to participate in the writing of a s. 696.1 application to the Minister of Justice. Students will participate in investigatory work and fact finding.

If you are interested in working in this Externship, send an email to Sara Faherty at before January 7 at 5:00 pm. We will randomly select two students.

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

At a Glance

Second Term


2 JD


M: 5:00 - 6:00