FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. This is my first term at law school. What is the time commitment for CLA?
You will be assigned to a group that meets the same time each week for two hours. You can only enroll in that group if you are free for the entire two-hour period. You will be expected to work on your files at times outside of the group time. We estimate the total weekly commitment to be 7 to 10 hours depending on how active your file is. We encourage you not to participate in other extracurricular activities because the commitment of time to CLA is significant. You will also find that you need to give yourself time to adjust to law school. We are providing vital services to real life clients, and we must honour our professional obligations to them. Our work is a priority. If you do not feel ready to assume that responsibility you can always apply to CLA in subsequent terms.
2. How does CLA differ from other volunteer opportunities for first year students?
You will be working with real life clients providing vital legal services to them. You will be working collaboratively with your fellow students. This is a rich learning environment. All your services to our clients are closely supervised by experienced in house lawyers. CLA provides you with practical legal skills and opportunity to work and learn from clients in a poverty law setting.
3. I will be living outside of Windsor for the fall – can I still apply?
Yes, our office is set up online to be able to connect with clients, participate in hearings, groups and supervision by experienced in house lawyers. It will be important for you to have reliable internet and space within your home to host confidential online meetings.
4. What happens if I do not get accepted? What should I do?
If the number of applicants exceeds the number of positions, reapply in the winter term. If you would like feedback on your application package, please contact Career Services. CLA is not able to provide feedback on individual applications.
5. How many terms can I participate in CLA? When can I apply to be a senior caseworker?
We encourage students to participate in CLA throughout their law school career. You are eligible to apply to be a senior caseworker once you complete first year and a term at CLA as a caseworker. Each summer we hire 10 law students who become the group leaders for the following year.
6. What does it mean to be assigned to a group?
CLA usually has 10 groups of student volunteers each term. Everyone is assigned to a group. The groups are led by a student who has completed a summer term of employment at CLA. Each group has senior caseworkers and junior caseworkers who work together on behalf of clients. All the work is supervised by experienced in house lawyers.
7. What happens if I have a class at the same time as a court/ tribunal appearance?
As a senior caseworker you are expected to miss class if you have a court/tribunal appearance at the same times. Our faculty is aware of our work and can usually accommodate your absence if you advise them ahead of time. Caseworkers do not have court/tribunal appearances but are encouraged to shadow the senior caseworker if their schedule permits.
8. When can I apply for the winter term?
We will advertise for the winter term in December 2021. It will be a separate application for new volunteers. Fall volunteers will be invited back for the winter term if they have satisfactorily completed their volunteer obligations.
9. How does COVID-19 affect CLA services?
CLA has been designated as an essential service throughout the pandemic. Our physical office has been modified to incorporate temperature testing, covid screening, restricted access and full implementation of the required health and safety protocols on masking, distancing, ventilation, traffic flow, cleaning etc. We are currently allowing clients in the office on a limited basis. These protocols can change depending on the guidelines and protocols from the WECHU and provincial regulations. We prioritize the health and safety of our staff, students, and clients. Each student attending the office must complete the safe lancer applicationhttps://www.uwindsor.ca/returntocampus/339/self-