There is vast unmet need for legal support and information in Ontario in the class action sphere. There are currently several hundred outstanding class action lawsuits in the province. The general public has only a vague understanding of how class actions work, or what to do if they think they are part of an action. Class members have no access to independent, non-partisan information about their rights in the litigation, how to object to a proposed settlement or fee, or how to claim their rightful share of a settlement.
Windsor Law helps fill that void with Canada’s first class action clinic. The clinic has both a web-based and physical presence, as well as a telephone service. Students work at the clinic under the supervision of Andrew Eckart, review counsel. Students also meet weekly with Prof. Kalajdzic. The clinic will provide a range of services, from summary advice, public education and outreach, assistance with filing claims in settlement distribution processes, and eventually legal representation at court hearings.
Students enrolled in the Class Action Clinic will be expected to attend weekly meetings, undertake legal and policy research on class action issues, prepare public legal education material, assist in the operation and development of the clinic, and eventually provide summary advice and assistance to class members. Evaluation is pass or fail, based on an individual deliverable relating to a clinical project that will be determined during the first weeks of the course. When resources and capacity allow, the clinic hires Summer Students.
Applications should be include a transcript, résumé and cover letter. Cover letter should detail the goals and reasons for pursuing the experience at the clinic, and highlight the student’s skills, knowledge and experience that will contribute to clinical projects.
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
The Class Action Clinic at Windsor Law is the first clinic in the world to focus on the needs of class members. The ultimate objective of the clinic is to provide substantive access to justice to class members and in doing so, better fulfill the access to justice promise of the class action regime. The clinic provides legal information and legal assistance in a variety of contexts, from information about existing class actions to assistance filing settlement claims to representing objecting class members. The clinic also has a mandate to perform outreach and public legal education, and will maintain the Class Action Database created by the Law Commission of Ontario. More information about the clinic’s work is available on the clinic website: www.classactionclinic.com.
Two students are needed to work at the clinic in the Winter 2021 term for up to four academic credits. Students will be expected to:
- Maintain weekly office hours of 3-4 hours for intake;
- Communicate with class members to determine their needs;
- Conduct legal research;
- Draft legal documents;
- Investigate class actions;
- Prepare public legal education material;
- Attend weekly meetings with Clinic Director;
- Write at least one blog and weekly twitter posts;
- Assist in the development and publicity of the clinic;
- Other work as needed.
The novelty of the clinic requires flexibility and creativity on the part of clinic students.
Students will work under the direct supervision of review counsel, and obtain academic guidance and instruction from the Clinic Director, Prof. Kalajdzic.
Pre-Requisite: Students must have taken or be currently enrolled in the Class Action course.
Note that up to two students will also be hired to work at the clinic in the summer of 2021, so preference will be given to student applicants who are in their second year of law school and/or who have not obtained summer employment as yet.
Duration: 1 term, renewable
Credits: 3 per perm
Pre-requisite: Class Actions course
Number of students: 2-3