There is vast unmet need for legal support and information in the class action sphere. There are currently several thousand outstanding class action lawsuits in the country. 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. [During the Covid-19 pandemic, all services and meetings are conducted virtually.] Students work at the clinic under the supervision of Andrew Eckart, review counsel. Students also meet weekly with Prof. Kalajdzic. The clinic provides a range of services, from summary advice, public education and outreach, assistance with filing claims in settlement distribution processes, and legal representation in 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, assist in the operation and development of the clinic, draft legal documents, and provide summary advice and assistance to class members. Students working at the Clinic during the academic year are given priority in the summer hiring process. In the summer of 2021, two Windsor Law students were hired to work full-time, along with students from McGill and the University of Ottawa.
Applications should include a transcript, résumé and cover letter. Cover letter should detail the student's reasons for pursuing the experience at the clinic, and highlight their skills, knowledge and experience that will contribute to clinical projects. Enrolment in the Class Action course is a pre- or co-requisite with this Clinic placement.
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
Student will be notified when applications are being collected and can apply using the online Application Form.
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.
Enrolment in the Class Action course is pre- or co-requisite with this Clinic placement.
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 four students will also be hired to work at the clinic in the summer of 2022, so preference will be given to student applicants who are in their second year of law school.
Duration: 1 term, renewable
Credits: 4 per term
Pre-requisite: Class Actions course
Number of students: 2-3