Instructor(s): Ivy Lam
Business Organizations

Note: 3 credits

This section of this externship is for students who can attend in person. In order to safeguard the health and safety of students, there is a possibility that all sections of this class will convert to a remote format for all or part of the term. To enrol in this course all students must meet or exceed the tech requirements for enrolment in University of Toronto courses, which can be found here []

This course will allow students to participate on projects and client cases aimed at promoting and protecting the rights of investors from vulnerable communities, such as the elderly and newcomers to Canada, who are at risk of suffering harm, or may have suffered harm, relating to their investments. The projects will focus on promoting investor protection through research, public legal education, policy and advocacy informed by clinical experience. 

There are two components to the course: (i) supervised research and casework, and (ii) a seminar. Through the supervised research and casework, students may have the opportunity to participate in original legal research of legislation, caselaw, and different approaches to investor protection, to draft legal and policy documents, to develop and deliver public legal education and presentations to vulnerable populations, to help vulnerable clients.  Casework may include formulating case theories and advocacy strategies, legal research, drafting of correspondence, briefs or reports, or attending client meetings, negotiations or hearings. 

Part of clinic meetings will be organized as a seminar, which may include guest lectures. The focus will be on thematic and substantive issues in investor protection (e.g. the legal aspects and issues arising from different investments; substantive basis for claims; remedies and jurisdiction of various courts and tribunals; effective advocacy strategies) and on skills building (e.g. research, analysis, drafting, effective writing). The second part of each session will be reserved for discussions, which may include critical reflections and project-rounds (i.e. where students discuss the progress made and obstacles encountered in their project work or cases).  

Examples of projects may include:

  • Legal research and meetings with a partner organization on current challenges to protecting vulnerable investors.

  • Litigation support (research and legal drafting) for claims based on mis-selling, suitability, misrepresentation and fraud.

  • Research memorandum on comparative approaches to investor protection (i.e. type of investor, investment and jurisdiction).

  • Policy projects with a partner organization on legal or regulatory reform to improve investor protection.

Examples of partner organizations may include community and support organizations for the elderly and newcomers, Community Legal Education Ontario, the Ontario Securities Commission and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. Students can expect to develop critical skills in:

  • case management,

  • client interviewing and counselling, 

  • formulating case theories and advocacy strategies, and

  • legal research and writing.  

Attendance at all meetings is mandatory. Students are routinely expected to provide oral briefings and analyses, and participate in discussions. Students are also expected to work collaboratively in assigned project teams of 2-3 students.  

To register for this course, students must email statement of interest (maximum 250 words) to Ivy Lam ( by the deadline for course selection before the lottery. Applications will still be accepted after this date, but priority will be given to any applications received by July 15, 2020 at 12:30 pm. Please indicate the following: 

(a) previous upper-year courses (other than Business Organizations) or experience that they consider to be relevant for the course; and 

(b) why they wish to enroll in the Clinic.  

Note: Enrollment in this clinic is conditional. The Records Office will add the clinic to the student's course selection once participation is confirmed by the clinic instructor. In the meantime, students must should select sufficient credits for the term/year. Students approved for the clinic will have the opportunity to adjust their credits before the add/drop deadline. 

The student's work on the clinic project(s) will consist of formulating a work plan, in-depth written work on the legal issues in a case or for the project assigned (individual 50%) and a student project team-led class discussion on the project (group/team evaluation 25%). In addition, the student will be required to develop a learning plan, to log time spent on client files conducted on behalf of the Investor Protection Clinic and participate in seminar discussions, and complete a final reflection and summary of the learning experience (individual 25%). Total written work will be the equivalent of a [6,000]-word research memorandum. Students will be evaluated on their clinical work and their participation in seminars. 
Academic year
2020 - 2021

At a Glance

Second Term



10 JD


T: 2:10 - 5:00 pm (in-class)