Instructor(s): Lisa Cirillo

Schedule: Students in the full-time program are expected to be at the clinic Monday-Friday during regular business hours.

This full-time program includes both clinical work and a paper. For technical reasons, students wishing to do the program must register for the clinical component and the paper component.

Public Interest Advocacy: The Full-Time Program (Clinic) (LAW402H1F) (12 credits) and
Public Interest Advocacy: The Full-Time Program (Paper) (LAW562H1F) (3 credits) for a total of 15 credits.

Note: Enrollment in all the clinics for credit is limited to upper year students. Students may enroll in either the first or second term. Exchange Students are not eligible to participate in clinics.

Application Process:
To register for this course, you must email a 1-2 page statement of interest to the Executive Director, Lisa Cirillo at, by Friday, July 7, 2017 at 10:00 am (revised date). Applications will still be accepted after this date, but priority will be given to any applications received by July 7 at 10 am.

In your statement of interest, please include the following points:

a) your reasons for seeking enrollment in the DLS full-time program;
b) which practice area(s) you wish to work in (see description below);
c) any previous experience and / or involvement in public interest advocacy or social justice work;
d) any previous experience with lawyering or advocacy;
e) any related course work.

Course Description:
This full-time, one term clinical education program offers students the opportunity to explore legal principles and social policy issues in an empirical, public interest context. The program challenges students to examine issues with respect to the many intersections of law and social inequality 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, individualized tutorials, substantive training sessions and course seminars, students are provided with the chance to test relationships between legal rules and the realities of the justice process, to investigate the complex legal problems and policy issues which affect low income communities, and to develop a conceptual and empirical understanding of public interest lawyering.

The program is conducted at Downtown Legal Services, a community legal clinic operated by the Faculty of Law which provides services to low income people in the areas of immigration and refugee law, family law, university affairs, criminal law and housing law. For a more detailed description of the kinds of matters we work on in each of these areas of law, please refer to the description provided for the part-time (division-specific) clinics.

In addition to the casework described above, students will participate in weekly education sessions throughout the term. These sessions will include substantive legal training, case rounds and multi-disciplinary seminars. Students in the full-time program also assist with clinic intake and participate in DLS’s expansive community outreach program.

Students in the full-time program are required to submit a 25- 30 page research paper on an issue of law or practice related to their clinical experiences at DLS. These 3 credits reflect the student’s participation and attendance in the weekly seminars (40%) and paper (60%). The course is graded on HH/H/P/LP/F basis. Students writing their Supervised Upper Year Research Paper in this full-time course must have a full-time faculty member as a co-supervisor.

At a Glance

First Term


4 JD