Externship Seminar

Note: 2 credits (ungraded) per term

Max enroll: 1 JD (limited to third year students)

Note: Students enrolled in year-long externships must participate in the fall term Externship Seminar.

Recommended: Human Rights course

The Health Justice Program at St. Michael’s hospital aims to address the overlapping health and justice needs of our community. Recognizing systemic inequalities in our society and unfairness experienced by individuals living in poverty, the program is based on the premise that the intertwined nature of health and justice issues affects the basic human rights of individuals with low income. Its work is framed by an understanding of the social determinants of health, health equity, and the rooting of equality and social rights as the foundation of access to justice needs. The Program takes collaborative action to address both individual threats and structural inadequacies. In partnership with patients, clients and community groups, the program engages in direct service, legal education, and law reform activities to fulfill its mission.

Learning objectives:
The goal of the externship is to provide students both with hands-on experience working on legal issues that arise in urban inner city primary health care settings, and an opportunity to be involved in law reform and systemic advocacy research and activities related to the social determinants of health and access to justice challenges patients and community members living in poverty face in this primary care setting. Students will gain experience interviewing and interacting with clients, conducting focused legal research, and develop written and oral legal and systemic advocacy planning and communication skills.

Placement activities:
Students will attend onsite at St. Michael's Hospital Academic Family Health Team clinic on Wednesdays from 1pm-5pm to support the operation of legal information and advice clinic.

Weekly, students will engage in another ½ day of written and oral advocacy work in relation to direct services (e.g. memorandum of law, draft an affidavit, write an advocacy letter, client communication), as well as dedicated time to research and writing and engagement in systemic advocacy or education projects. Participation in legal clinic seminars organized with other legal clinics at the Faculty of Law is part of this second component.

This Clinic requires an application.  Send a letter of interest and résumé to by the course selection deadline.

Satisfactory completion of the externship, including the submission of the required assignments, evaluations and logs, and a short research paper on one of the law reform and systemic advocacy issues earns two ungraded credits per term. The faculty supervisor assesses, in consultation with the field supervisor, whether the requirements for earning credit have been met.
Academic year
2022 - 2023

At a Glance

Both Terms



1 JD