Community Legal Aid advertises volunteer applications for the Fall term in August of each year. Winter term volunteer positions are advertised in December of each year. Summer employment opportunities for group leaders are advertised in March of each year.
CLA offers several volunteer, credit and paid placements for law students wishing to gain practical legal skills and serve the community.
You can start volunteering at CLA beginning in 1L. All CLA volunteers undergo an orientation offered at the beginning of each academic term. Our Review Counsel will introduce you to the practice of law from a collaborative approach.
CLA volunteers start out as intake support caseworkers or caseworkers and after completing one term can apply to be senior caseworkers. As a caseworker, you communicate directly with clients, opposing parties, court staff and our community partners. You will conduct legal research and draft correspondence pertaining to your client files. To apply for a intake support caseworker see intake support caseworker . To apply for caseworker positions see Caseworker.
Returning as a senior caseworker, you will be responsible for the tribunal or court advocacy of files in your assigned group. Our senior caseworkers appear before the Ontario Court of Justice, Superior Court – Small Claims Court and the Landlord and Tenant Board. CLA senior caseworkers argue summary conviction offences, civil claims and Residential Tenancy Act hearings. For more information about applying for a senior caseworker position see Senior Caseworkers.
Under the supervision of practicing lawyers and with the assistance of group leaders, volunteers are taught how to navigate the complexities of litigation and advocacy.
Our clinic is open throughout the week. Volunteers are assigned to a specific group. Each group is led by a group leader and has one or two designated senior caseworkers.
Groups meet once a week at a set group time for a two hour period. Volunteers are expected to conduct their work throughout the week, and beyond their set group time depending on the file requirement.
You can also volunteer in our Family Law program. For more information please see the Family law application process.