Instructor(s): Cheryl Milne

Note: 6 credits/15 hours (2 full days per week)

Max Enrol: 1 JD (conditional enroll)

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. Reasonable efforts will be made to indicate acceptance in the course in time for online course enrollment. If we are unable to do so, students must 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.

To register for this course, you must email a 1-2 page statement of interest to Cheryl Milne, by Monday, July 11, 2022 at 10:00 am. Applications will still be accepted after this date, but priority will be given to any applications received by July 11 at 10 am.

Please indicate the following:
(a) previous upper-year courses in constitutional law or human rights law or experience that you consider to be equivalent;
(b) indicators of academic, analytical and research and writing ability, which may include grades in related classes;
(c) any experience in human rights or constitutional issues;
(d) any experience with lawyering or advocacy;
(e) why you wish to enroll in the Clinic.

Students participating in clinical programs are encouraged to take opportunities to integrate their clinical work into an upper year paper course. Students must obtain approval from the Clinical Director, the paper course instructor, and Assistant Dean, Academic.

This half-time, one term clinical education program offers students the opportunity to explore legal principles and social policy issues in constitutional advocacy. The program challenges students to examine issues in significant constitutional cases and advocacy initiatives in a critical way, while at the same time allowing them to develop the professional and ethical literacy which is essential to the practice of law. Through their clinical work, written reflections, and individual weekly consultations with the Executive Director, students will test relationships between constitutional principles and the practical realities of the advocacy process, and develop a conceptual and empirical understanding of constitutional lawyering. 

This intensive clinical experience provides the opportunity for one student to work closely with the Executive Director of the Asper Centre, along with faculty members and practitioners engaged in the advocacy work of the Centre. The student is required to be present in the clinic for two whole days per week under the direct supervision of the director. Appellate level cases that invoke the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in innovative ways to promote social justice will be selected. It is expected that students will have the opportunity to work alongside practitioners and faculty in developing written and oral arguments, for academic credit. Daily casework could include case theory formulation, constitutional legal research, appellate brief and factum writing and attendance at oral argument. It is also expected that the student will work as a part of a team with students in the practicum who are completing work on files commenced in the fall clinic. Responsibilities may include coordination of the work of those students. 

Attendance at clinic meetings with the Executive Director is mandatory. Students are routinely expected to provide oral briefings and analyses and to participate in discussions with the director and counsel working on the cases. While we will strive to make the overall workload of the clinic comparable to a course of similar weight, the clinic will at times involve obligations to clients and external deadlines which must be met.

The student's written work on the clinic advocacy project(s) will consist of draft pleadings and/or in-depth memoranda on the legal issues in the case or in relation to the advocacy project assigned (70%); in addition, the student will be required to log time spent on files, to enter weekly reflections in an ongoing journal on the work conducted on behalf of the Centre and to complete a final reflection and summary of the learning experience (30%). Total written work will be the equivalent of a 10,000-word research memorandum.
Academic year
2022 - 2023

At a Glance

Second Term



1 JD