Externship Seminar

Note: 2 credits (ungraded) 

Conditional enrolment - See details on how to register below.

Note: Students enrolled in externships must participate in the Externship Seminar during the first term of their externship.

Pre-requisite: While there are no formal pre-requisites for this course, preference will be given to candidates who have previous knowledge or experience in any of the John Howard Society of Ontario’s service areas; previous demonstrated interest in social justice or prison rights; or previous experience with public legal education work.

This part-time, one-semester clinical education program gives students the opportunity to explore legal issues and access to justice initiatives in a social justice context. The program challenges students to examine the issues faced by individuals who have been incarcerated provincially or federally and those who are currently involved, or at risk of involvement in the criminal justice system 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. 

About the John Howard Society of Ontario (JHSO):
For more than 90 years, JHSO has worked to keep the humanity in justice. Today, we continue to build a safer Ontario by supporting the people and communities affected by the criminal justice system. Our 19 local offices deliver more than 80 evidence-based programs and services focused on prevention, intervention and re-integration across the province. These range from helping youth develop the life skills that will let them achieve their full potential, to helping families navigate issues of criminal justice, to providing job training for those leaving incarceration so they can contribute to their community in a meaningful way. We promote practical, equitable policies while raising awareness of the root causes of crime and calling on Ontarians to share responsibility for addressing them. Within the system itself, we advocate for the fair treatment of every individual. Each year, our work impacts the lives of more than 100,000 Ontarians.

At the provincial level, our Centre of Research & Policy connects front-line service providers with innovative analysis to translate research into action. By collaborating closely with our local offices, the Centre’s team of analysts and researchers develops policy positions that truly reflect the needs of each community, advances those positions to governments and other organizations, educates the public on the critical issues, and evaluates program efficacy to guide future work. Through it all, we're committed to ensuring that innovative ideas can translate into real action.

Students will work with both the Senior Policy Analyst and the Education & Strategic Initiatives Coordinator at the Centre of Research & Policy. The Senior Policy Analyst will focus on policy analysis and initiatives, consistent with JHSO’s mission and values. This may include reviewing and preparing briefs of criminal and social justice legislation, assisting with the development of factsheets, submissions and other policy documentation and participating and contributing to policy and research projects of the JHSO, as required. The Education & Strategic Initiatives Coordinator will focus on conceptualizing, designing, and disseminating public legal education content, including training and content which specifically addresses the unique and intersecting needs of BIPOC populations in the justice system and content for defence counsel to prompt them to identify their clients’ civil legal issues at key stages in justice system involvement, including the bail and sentencing stages.

How to register for this course:
To register for this course, please send an email to Sara Faherty at with a current CV, a short writing sample (e.g. an excerpt from an academic paper) and a statement of interest including the following information:

- Why you wish to enroll in the John Howard Society of Ontario program;
- Your interest or experience with criminal, prison and social justice issues in any of JHSO’s priority areas (bail and remand, employment and police records, incarceration and health, reintegration and housing, and prevention and intervention); and
- A list of courses taken in social justice (transcript not necessary).

Students must apply to the clinic by the deadline for course selection before the lottery. Review of applications begins at the start of the course selection period and JHSO will interview students for the available position.

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 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.

Students will receive 2 ungraded credits for completion of the program. Students' successful completion of externship requirements will be assessed by the faculty advisors.
Academic year
2022 - 2023

At a Glance

Second Term



1 JD