FamilyFamily law governs the rights and obligations between spouses, as well as between parents and children. Family lawyers provide advice and support to clients with the formation and dissolution of marriage, division  of property, domestic violence, and child custody and support. Many family lawyers work in mid-sized or boutique firms, or as sole practitioners; others work for government. Some family lawyers appear regularly in Family Court as part of the dispute resolution process, while others specialize in Collaborative Law, a process intended to resolve disputes without going to court. Please review our Civil Litigation & Dispute Resolution page for additional suggestions on pursuing a career in this area.

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What courses can I take?

Courses to consider in the upper years*

  • Family Law
  • Advanced Family Law: Resolving the Family Law Case
  • Exploring the Intersections of Law and Social Work
  • Mediation
  • Negotiation

*Not all courses are offered in each academic year. Please consult the Course Calendar and Upper Year Courses by Subject Area resources.


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How can I get hands-on experience?

Experiential opportunities

  • Barbra Schlifer Clinic externship
  • Downtown Legal Services Family Law Clinic (for credit, paid summer positions or volunteer)
  • Journal of Law and Equality
  • Walsh Family Law moot
  • Walsh Family Law negotiation competition

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How else can I get involved?


  • Pro Bono Students Canada Family Justice Centre

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How can I connect with employers?

Work and networking ideas

Networking opportunities

  • Informational interviews (go to UTLC > Resource Library > Interviews for guidance)
  • Events hosted by professional associations such as the Family Lawyers Association
  • Lawyers Doing Cool Things

Fellowships & internships

Past paid Donner Fellowship placement sites include:

  • Pro Bono Students Canada Family Law Project
  • Luke’s Place
  • Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic

Paid opportunities

Employers offering paid summer and articling opportunities in this area include:

  • Bales Beall LLP
  • Blaney McMurtry LLP
  • Epstein Cole LLP
  • McCarthy Hansen & Company LLP
  • Ministry of the Attorney General – Family Responsibility Office
  • Office of the Children’s Lawyer

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What resources can I look at?

Online career resources and events

The following resources are available to current UofT Law students and alumni through UTLC:

  • Guide: Pathways to a Career in Family Law
  • 1L Summer Employment Guide
  • Recruitment Guides: Students can find recruitment guides on UTLC listing positions for 1L summer, 2L summer and articling recruitment cycles for a range of legal markets
  • Government Interview and Information Guide
  • CDO Event: Career Information Sessions (current students only)
  • Upper Year Student Directory to connect with students who have worked with family law employers

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