- Community Legal Education and Outreach
In addition, students in every division must perform the following duties in addition to their division duties (on a rotating basis):
- Intake interviews for prospective clients; and,
- Community Legal Education and Outreach Division workshops, as needed.
Community Legal Education and Outreach Division
The Community Legal Education and Outreach Division is the primary point of contact between the Clinic and the community and the undergraduate student body at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. The division’s mandate is to inform and educate the community about their legal rights and responsibilities.
The Community Legal Education and Outreach Division provides law students with the invaluable opportunity to gain solid knowledge of many area of the law, to acquire both written and spoken communication skills, to develop a talent for public-speaking and to sharpen networking skills.
Caseworkers in this division deal with community organizations and the general public. In collaboration with community organizations, caseworkers give legal information workshops on a variety of legal topics such as human rights, tenant rights, workers’ rights, and debtor’s rights. Caseworkers conduct research on topics assigned to them, draft presentations using plain language, and may develop brochures, quick reference tip sheets on a particular legal topic, pamphlets and posters, upon request.
Caseworkers also participate in Outreach activities such as community fairs and other events.
The Criminal Division represents accused persons at the Ontario Court of Justice in regards to summary conviction offences under the Criminal Code of Canada (including hybrid offences where the Crown has elected to proceed by way of summary conviction) such as theft under $5000, assault, mischief under $5000, fraud under $5000, and possession of controlled substances. The Criminal Division may also represent those charged with significant provincial offences such as driving without insurance and careless driving.
Caseworkers in the Criminal Division review evidence, meet with prosecutors to discuss resolutions, assist with guilty pleas and sentencing hearings, and conduct trials.
Parents and spouses often do not know their rights when it comes to a separation or divorce. The Family division provides legal services to parents and spouses regarding such issues as custody, access, child support, and spousal support. These services include advice and representation. The Family Division does not deal with child protection matters or property issues in relation to a separation or divorce. We can, however, provide referrals for these services.
Caseworkers in the Family Division meet with clients, collect and assess evidence from their clients and opposing parties, prepare and file applications and attempt to negotiate resolutions to disputes whenever possible. While caseworkers cannot appear in court on their own, they will accompany review counsel.
Tenants often do not know their rights and landlords can use this to their advantage. Accordingly, the Tenant Division provides legal services to tenants in regards to disputes with landlords. Caseworkers in the Tenant Division may represent tenants in both the Small Claims Court and at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). Students also provide duty counsel services at the LTB on a weekly basis. Duty counsel services ensure that tenants who appear at the LTB unrepresented receive free legal information and assistance before their hearing.
Caseworkers in the Tenant Division assess the evidence of their clients and the opposing landlord, attempt to negotiate resolutions to disputes, assist Tenant Duty Counsel, and conduct hearings.