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Clinic Opportunities

Submitted by amabel on Fri, 07/03/2015 - 12:35pm

Clinic Opportunities at the Faculty of Law

UCalgary Law covers many clinical courses to allow students to put their knowledge to work in real-world situations, from business and environmental law, to tax law and pro bono legal assistance.

Student Legal Assistance (SLA)

Student Legal Assistance Clinical Theory (Law 693) and Clinical Practice (Law 696) are full-year 3-credit courses which meet bi-weekly over both fall and winter terms. Students must be enrolled in both courses concurrently, commencing in fall term.

Law 693: Student Legal Assistance: Clinical Theory
Students enrolled in SLA Clinical Theory (Law 693) will explore a selection of poverty law and social justice topics related to the work and clients of SLA. Students will examine and critically reflect on systemic barriers which prevent or impede access to justice. Students will develop materials for SLA caseworker use and will also assist in SLA's outreach and access to justice efforts via the delivery of public legal information and education seminars focused on the needs of marginalized clients.

Law 696: Student Legal Assistance: Clinical Practice
Students enrolled in SLA Clinical Practice (Law 696) will engage in advanced experiential learning about the practice of law through the carriage of an assigned case load in SLA. Students will participate in all aspects and areas of SLA clinical work including summary criminal offences, family law matters, residential tenancy issues, small claims disputes and traffic offences. Students will develop a range of problem-solving and client management skills including interviewing, counselling, negotiation and dispute settlement. Students will also develop their written and oral advocacy skills through a variety of court and trial processes and via SLA's court-annexed advocacy projects such as trial confirmation process, domestic violence court, bail forfeiture applications, etc.

Business Venture Clinic

The BLG Business Venture Clinic matches law students with start-up companies. The students work with these companies over the course of the entire year, providing legal information and drafting various agreements and other documents. Each student is provided with a mentor practicing law downtown who reviews the student's memos and agreements before they are forwarded to the client.

Classes consist of lessons on issues that commonly arise in startup companies, such as employment issues, trade secrets, dividing up founders' equity, intellectual property licensing, board of director problems, etc. In most cases, part of the class will be spent in a lecture and part will be spent on practical case study assignments. As the year progresses, increasing amounts of class time are spent in discussions about problems students are encountering in their work for clients and class brainstorming about different approaches. One of the best things about the class is the camaraderie that develops as the students and professor work on problems together.

Intellectual Property Clinic

Students in the Intellectual Property Clinic will draft patent applications and licensing agreements for review by the lawyers who run the technology practice of Innovate Calgary. Some of the licensing work may be done for private company clients of the Business Venture Clinic. In these cases, students enrolled in the Intellectual Property Clinic will work together with colleagues in the Business Venture Clinic (just as they would in a law firm).

Students enrolled in the Intellectual Property Clinic will attend class with the students in the Business Venture Clinic, however, Intellectual Property Clinic students will not be automatically enrolled in Law 618 Corporate Finance.

The course work will consist of covering the various legal issues that provide the context for intellectual property work with startups, such as employment law, trade secret regimes, fiduciary duties, founder-proofing companies, etc. There
will be several additional classes for students of the Clinic taught by Intellectual Property lawyers, on purely IP-related matters such as patent drafting.

Public Interest Law Clinic

Access to justice is a significant societal concern, and that concern is more pronounced in cases involving important public interest issues. Barriers to accessing the legal system for public interest issues arise in many forms, including: (1) obtaining standing to initiate or participate in court and regulatory proceedings; (2) retaining knowledgeable legal counsel willing and able to act on public interest files; (3) navigating complex evidentiary and doctrinal contexts; (4) significant legal fees and/or facing the prospect of an adverse cost award.

Law students will work in the clinic on precedent-setting cases affecting Alberta's vulnerable communities and the environment, allowing them to learn public interest advocacy and litigation skills. The clinic will train and inspire a new generation of lawyers to advocate in the public interest in Alberta and beyond.

The Public Interest Law Clinic will also take on the work of the Environmental Law Clinic and the Constitutional Law Clinic

Tax Court Assistance Program

The Tax Court Assistance program is a collaboration between the Faculty of Law, Student Legal Assistance (SLA) and practitioners in the legal community to give law students interested in business and tax law the opportunity to gain valuable and relevant court experiences, in areas typically viewed as complex and reserved for specialist practitioners.

Student caseworkers assist clients with a variety of tax issues, including entitlement to Canada Child Tax benefits, medical expense credit claims, and appeals on the obligation to pay Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan benefits, Old Age Security and GST credits.

With mentoring from tax specialist lawyers in private practice, students will build a case and represent individuals and families at the Tax Court of Canada (Informal Procedure). There is also a dispute resolution procedure within Canada Revenue Agency with which students can assist clients.

Criminal Justice Clinic

Criminal Justice Clinical (Law 687) is a full-year 3-credit course which meets bi-weekly over both fall and winter terms.

Law 687 – Criminal Justice Clinical (The Innocence Project)

Students enrolled in Criminal Justice Clinical (The Innocence Project) will explore the causes of wrongful convictions including eyewitness identification errors, jailhouse informant testimony, false confessions, tunnel  vision, systemic  discrimination, forensic science errors, the impact of racism, gender bias and socioeconomic factors and professional/prosecutorial misconduct.

Students will  study  past  cases  of wrongful convictions and will critically examine criminal convictions review processes in both Canadian and international contexts. Students will also work together and in collaboration with correctional facility personnel and exonerees to establish an intake and review process for new claims of wrongful conviction.

In addition to work on new cases, students may be involved in administrative tribunal hearings, wrongful convictions access to justice initiatives and/or public interest advocacy initiatives.