Poster presentations showcased the community experiences of Windsor Law externship students on April 3.
With experiential education an increasingly important part of higher education, the externship program has allowed students to practise their legal and professional skills through feedback sessions, readings, and self-critique activities.
“Externships provide students the chance to apply what they learn in the classroom to a real-life context,” said professor Tess Sheldon, the program’s director. “Although externship students have regular appointments on campus, most of their learning occurs in the workplace, under the support and supervision of an on-site supervisor.”
The externship program launched in Fall 2018, placing students in law-related community organizations, clinics, or not-for-profit agencies for one term, where the contribute meaningfully to the organization’s work. After an initial intensive training, students work for 12 hours per week.
“The externship experience changed me as a law student and as a person really,” said participant Matt Jantzi, who held a placement in the Six Nations Justice Department. “The relationships I built pushed me to critically reflect on law, justice, and my role in the mix of it all. I didn’t just learn the law, I learned how to interact with it.”
Since its launch, the externship program has grown to include 23 partnerships with legal clinics, legal aid offices, government offices, and NGOs, in a variety of practice areas including immigration, health, criminal, family, elder, child, municipal, and environmental law.