Windsor Law Externship Program

Windsor Law’s Externship Program places students in law firms, non-profits, non-government organizations, courts, and community collectives under the supervision of a licensed lawyer. Students participate in a preparatory seminar and are provided both on-site and academic supervision throughout the term. The Externship Program incorporates work-integrated and skills-based learning alongside critical reflection, self-directed personal and career planning, focus on ethical and professional practice, and engagement with access to justice in theory and practice.

Windsor Law’s Externship Program consists of two distinct but complementary portions: a seminar course titled “Learning in Place” and the placement itself entitled “Externship Placement”.  The seminar will consist of pre-placement training, ongoing support and a final placement showcase. The Externship Program includes a competitive application process, an array of placement sites, and a seminar that integrates the academic and work-based components of the program. Placements will vary from term to term. Students must enrol in both the seminar and work portions simultaneously.



Peak Processing Solutions 

Number of Placements: 1 

Description: We are a partner that will guide product innovation from concept to reality. With our unique skillset and expertise in CPG, we are a trusted partner that understands the challenges of the cannabis industry and can help navigate the regulatory landscape. Students will be engaged in both regulatory and corporate work.  Students will provide administrative and substantive support to the Director, Corporate & Legal Affairs, with ancillary duties towards the Director, Regulatory & Government Relations. This position will take care of entry-level contract, drafting, and research functions and specific short-term projects directed by Legal and Regulatory. 

Hours: Students will primarily complete work during typical office hours. This placement is hybrid.  

Website: Cannabis Innovation. Brand EIevation. - Peak Processing 


Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO) 

Number of Placements: 1 

Description: ACTO is a community legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario with a province-wide mandate to assist low-income Ontarians with their housing issues through legal advice and representation, law reform, community organizing, and education and training.  ACTO also runs the Tenant Duty Counsel Program across Ontario which provides legal information and assistance to self- represented tenants appearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board. ACTO works closely with the other legal clinics across Ontario, particularly in providing tenant duty counsel services. 

Duties: Working with ACTO's staff of lawyers and professionals in community development, research and communications, the student will take on research and advocacy projects to advance ACTO's work in the Courts, before legislative bodies and in the community. 

ACTO is a litigation boutique that primarily focuses on appellate work and interventions before various Courts. This work is in contrast to the type of work of general community legal clinics who appear frequently before tribunals or trier of fact level courts. 

Hours: Students will primarily work during Office Hours 9am- 5pm. Flexible hours are sometimes available, between 8:00 am and 7:00 pm. In-person placement. Possibility of work off-site at Landlord and Tenant Board offices (in the GTA) or locations of clinic training programs. Any such work would be planned long in advance. 

Website: Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario - ACTO 


Canadian Centre for Housing Rights (CCHR) 

Number of Placements: 4 

Description: CCHR advances the right to housing by serving renters to help them stay housed, providing education and training about housing rights, and advancing rights-based housing policy through research, policy development, advocacy and litigation. Every year, CCHR provides much needed supports to hundreds of renters facing eviction and human rights issues in their housing. CCHR also provides education on housing law, human rights and eviction prevention to a variety of audiences, including vulnerable renters, housing providers and service providers. CCHR is also compiling research and data to ignite public action and encourage decision makers at municipal, provincial and national levels to implement the right to housing for all. This work includes engaging in strategic litigation as a means to advance rights-based housing policy where traditional avenues of policy advocacy may not be effective. CCHR partners at municipal, regional, provincial and national levels, as we work to build and nurture coalitions to advance the right to housing movement in Canada and internationally. 

Duties: Student externs will each be assigned to one of three teams: 

  • Policy, Communications, and Engagement: Students will work closely with CCHR’s public policy professionals to monitor and analyze policy developments across Canada and support community engagement and education efforts. This work may include preparing briefing notes and reviewing and analyzing legislation and relevant government policies.  
  • Strategic Litigation: Students will support CCHR’s ongoing development and implementation of our litigation strategy and conduct in-depth legal research on a variety of housing and human rights related topics.  
  • Services and Education: Students will work directly with clients, providing them legal information on a variety of issues related to their tenancies, do legal research, conduct intake interviews, and provide guided referrals. 

Hours: CCHR is a national organization. Students will generally be able to work during business hours in any Canadian time zone. Meetings will usually be scheduled during our core hours of 11:30am to 4:00pm EST. This position can occur entirely remotely, with hybrid negotiated with the student.  

Website: Homepage - Canadian Centre for Housing Rights (housingrightscanada.com) 


City of Windsor 

Number of Placements: 1  

Description: The externship student will be placed in the Legal & Real Estate Services Department of The Corporation of the City of Windsor.  The externship student will be exposed to a range of legal matters, depending upon the issues that arise and the student’s interests.   

Duties: The externship student will engage in a variety of possible tasks including: conducting research on a variety of legal issues, assisting with contract review and/or attending examinations for discovery and mediations.  

Hours: The externship student will primarily complete work during office hours (8:30 am – 4:30 pm). This position is in person.   

Website: Homepage | City of Windsor Extranet Portal (citywindsor.ca) 


Hamilton Community Legal Clinic 

Number of Placements: 1 

Description: Hamilton Community Legal Clinic is a community-based not-for-profit agency whose diverse team of caring professionals and volunteers provides legal services to low-income individuals and communities to promote access to justice and to improve quality of life. We do this through summary advice and referral, representation, community development, law reform, and public legal education. 

Students must be able to appreciate and sensitively respond to the experiences of diverse clients with low income, many of whom experience issues with mental health and addiction. Attention to detail is key. An understanding of applying an Anti-oppression and Anti-racism lens while practicing is key. 

The primary role is to interview clients who are appealing the denial of their ODSP applications and requiring housing advice. The student will have an opportunity to work closely with a staff lawyer on a number of housing cases, as well assist in providing Tenant Duty Counsel. An opportunity to provide public legal education will depend on community requests. 

Hours: Students will primarily complete work during typical office hours (8:30am – 4:30pm). The exact hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 8:30am - 4:30 pm and Wednesday 8:30am – 12pm availability. This is an in-person placement.  

Website: Hamilton Community Legal Clinic (hamiltonjustice.ca) 


HIV Legal Network 

Number of Placements: 1   

Description: The HIV Legal Network promotes the human rights of people living with HIV or AIDS and other populations disproportionately affected by HIV, including punitive laws and policies, and criminalization. The HIV Legal Network uses a variety of advocacy mechanisms including research and analysis, litigation and other advocacy, public education, and community mobilization. The HIV Legal Network produces research and resources used to support the work of front-line AIDS service organizations, researchers and community activists from across Canada and around the world. The HIV Legal Network engages decision-makers, from parliamentarians and judges to United Nations delegates on the importance of human rights in the fight against HIV and AIDS.  

Duties: The student will do regional comparative legal research about LGBTQ+ rights, legal research in support of the rights of sex workers, migrants, people who use drugs, people in prison, and people living with HIV. In addition, the student will do legal research in support of the Legal Network's court interventions, assist with drafting of legal submissions and observe court hearings and deputations.  

Hours: The student is expected to work during office hours M-F 9am-5pm. Flexible hours are possible. Remote or hybrid is preferred. 

Website: HIV Legal Network 


Industrial Accident Victims' Group of Ontario (IAVGO) Community Legal Clinic 

Number of Placements: 1 

Description: IAVGO is a not-for-profit community legal clinic providing free legal services to injured workers in Ontario since 1975. IAVGO is funded by Legal Aid Ontario. IAVGO also operates “Advocates for Injured Workers” which is a student legal aid clinic. IAVGO provides individual legal representation and summary legal advice as well as public legal education, community development and law reform. More information about IAVGO can be found here: http://iavgo.org/about/. Information about IAVGO's many campaigns and law reform work can be found at iavgo.org/whats-new. 

Duties: IAVGO is willing to adapt students' assignments to their interests. Students are asked to describe their areas of interest in their cover letter. 

Hours: Students will primarily complete work during typical office hours (8:30am – 4:30pm). This position is primarily remote.  

Website: iavgo.org 


Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) 

Number of Placements: 1 

Description: Legal Aid Ontario provides legal services to people with low income in Ontario. LAO provides many different types of legal services in areas of law that disproportionately impact people with low income including criminal, residential tenancies, immigration and refugee, family and other related areas. There are LAO offices across the province. The Chatham Family Law Service Centre will be hosting one externship placements for students in areas relating to Family Law. 

Prerequisite/Co-requisite: The student should be taking or have taken Family Law. 

Duties: Students will be exposed to Family Law Legal research, legal drafting, shadowing of lawyers, triage of client matters, referrals, docketing, organising files, court filing, client interviewing (with increasing responsibility over time). 

Hours: Students will primarily complete work during typical office hours (8:30am – 4:30pm.) This is an in-person placement.  

Website: Legal Aid Ontario 


Ministry of Attorney General (MAG) Windsor Office 

Number of Positions: 1 

Description: The Crown Attorney system is responsible for prosecuting most of Ontario's criminal cases. Organized on a local basis, each office is supervised by a Crown Attorney and staffed by Assistant Crown Attorneys. In becoming a proficient prosecutor, an Assistant Crown Attorney must master all aspects of trial practice including such matters as case preparation, witness examination and cross-examination, the use of forensic evidence, legal argument, and the art of addressing the jury.   

Apart from trial work, Assistant Crown Attorneys may provide a range of related services. They give legal advice to police during investigations; they assist police in obtaining search warrants; they review police briefs and conduct 'charge screening' (by which they endeavour to eliminate charges where there is no reasonable prospect of conviction); and they try to facilitate reasonable resolutions of cases prior to trial whenever possible. 

Type of Police Clearance required: Vulnerable sector check. 

Duties: The student will be expected to assist with research assignments and observe court matters.  

Required competencies: Knowledge of the Criminal Code, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is preferred.  

Hours: Students will work during office hours, 9am – 5:00pm. This is an in-person placement.  

Website: Ministry of the Attorney General | ontario.ca 



Muslim Legal Support Centre (MLSC) 

Number of Placements: 1 

Description: The Muslim Legal Support Centre (MLSC) is an innovative new organization that aims to ensure Muslims have equitable access to legal services and fair treatment within the legal system. The MLSC works to increase access to justice for Muslims in Ontario by providing legal information and education, referrals and summary legal advice, and by addressing systemic injustice. 

Discrimination against Muslims in Ontario is on the rise and the intersecting impacts of poverty, racialization, discrimination and Islamophobia make this diverse population distinctly vulnerable. 

The MLSC was created to cater to the day-to-day needs of low to middle income Muslims and increase their access to justice. Since its inception, the MLSC has served hundreds of Muslims through its legal education sessions, pop-up clinics and legal services. 

The MLSC is responsive, community-based and collaborative. We embrace Muslim communities as a group of diverse people with many common interests. We focus our work on the legal needs of Ontarians who self-identify as Muslim or are perceived as Muslim. 


  • Students will be exposed to multiple areas of law that disproportionately impact Muslims with limited means including immigration, social benefits, and family. The student’s primary competencies and responsibilities include: understanding of access to justice needs of racialized communities, ability to locate local legal and social service and supports available for racialized communities, updating case status and client data.
  • Under the supervision of lawyers, the law student may provide: client intake, contribute to the development and management of MLSC interventions and case work, clerical and research support for our staff lawyer, soliciting feedback from clients, providing referrals to relevant service providers, speaking with clients and managing phone line, attending check-in meetings with staff, exploring areas for improvement for intake process, other duties assigned from time to time. 

Hours: The student is expected to work regular business hours. The MLSC has no permanent office space. Some student work is conducted remotely, and other work occurs in person.  

Website: MLSC | Muslim Legal Support Centre (muslimlegalcentre.ca) 


Town of Essex 

Number of Placements: 2 

Description: Students will work under the Director of Legal and Legislative Services and receive a comprehensive introduction to legal issues impacting municipalities. 

Hours: This is an in-person placement. Students will primarily complete work during typical office hours 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.    

Website: Town of Essex 


Town of Tecumseh  

Number of placements: 1 

Description: The preferred candidate will be assisting the Town’s Solicitor with the research and preparation of by-laws, reports, policies, set fines and standard operating procedures for the implementation of a Municipal Administrative Monetary Penalty System for the Town.    

Hours: This is an in-person placement. Students will primarily complete work during typical office hours 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.    

Website: Town of Tecumseh 


Unison Health and Community Services 

Number of Placements: 1 

Description: While we are a general service legal clinic like others throughout the province, we are one of the very few that is integrated within a larger organization. Unison is a community health centre, with numerous other services, of which legal is only one. As such, we work closely with a number of other staff in an interdisciplinary context. 

Duties: It is anticipated that there would be elements of client interviewing and notetaking, some legal research, and assistance in community development and public legal education. 

Hours: Students will primarily complete work during typical office hours (9:00am – 5:00pm.) There is some flexibility in the hours above and there may be some requirement to working outside of the hours above as needed. In-person placement. 

Website: Unison Health & Community Services (unisonhcs.org) 


University of Windsor Legal Services 

Number of Placements: 1 

Description: The Department of Legal Services provides legal advice to the President, administration, faculty, and staff on legal matters involving or affecting the University of Windsor. This Office provides legal assistance to University Vice Presidents in the formulation of administrative policies, as well as legal advice to all Deans, Directors and Department Heads, as needed. 

The Office engages in risk and opportunity management and preventative counseling, including the identification of high-risk activities and enterprises conducted by the University and the articulation of methodologies or strategies for coping with the risks. 

** Please note that we welcome applications from Indigenous students interested in participating in a specialized project centered around rematriation. 

Type of Police Clearance required: Criminal Records check. 

Duties: Legal research, memo drafting, creating and presenting presentations to managerial and professional staff.  

Hours: Students will primarily complete work during typical office hours (8:30 am – 4:30 pm). This is a hybrid placement. 

Website: Department of Legal Services (uwindsor.ca) 


Aamjiwnaang First Nation (child protection, Bill C-92) 

Number of Placements: 1 

Description: Students in this placement will work with Indigenous laws and communities. One student will be placed under supervision of lawyer Matt Stone to work on a project related to Indigenous child welfare. The student will work on supporting implementation of Bill C-92, An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families, particularly as it impacts Aamjiwnaang First Nation. This is part of a larger collaboration with Professor Jamesy Patrick at the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations. Students who have taken Family Law, Advanced Family Law, Indigenous Child Welfare, and/or Child Protection with an approach that centres Indigenous peoples are preferred. Previous relevant experience is also considered an asset. 

Hours: Work will be in person, remote or hybrid, depending on student interest, access to a vehicle, and the student’s schedule.  

Website: Aamjiwnaang 


Aamjiwnaang First Nation (general) 

Number of Placements: 1 

Description: One or more students will be placed directly under the supervision of an experienced lawyer working on a variety of legal issues impacting Aamjwinaang or Bkejwanong (Walpole Island First Nation). The specific project can be negotiated directly with the supervisor. Work will be in person, remote or hybrid, depending on student interest, access to a vehicle, and schedule.   

Hours: Work will be in person, remote or hybrid, depending on student interest, access to a vehicle, and schedule. 

Website: Aamjiwnaang 


Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) 

Number of Placements: 2 

Description: WDBA is a Crown Corporation that is responsible for the procurement, design, build, operations, and maintenance of the Gordie Howe International Bridge Project, a $6.4 billion project which consists of the US POE, Canadian POE, Bridge, and Michigan Interchange.  Students will be expected to conduct contract review and analysis, issue identification and legal research into issues involving contract disputes, and legal compliance with legislation review. Students should also have an understanding of Indigenous laws. There will be a need to travel to two offices: one in downtown Windsor and another on Sandwich Street in Windsor’s west end.      

WDBA requires that all employees hold a valid Reliability Status through the Privy Counsel Office. Our Security team initiates the process and walks the employee through all of the data collection. Then the Privy Counsel Office representatives work with the employee to complete the criminal background check, a credit check, and digital fingerprints. Here is a link to the information page: https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/esc-src/personnel/pdcf-rsrp-eng.html

All security checks would be initiated through our Security team.

Hours: Work will be in person, work during typical office hours (8:30am – 4:30pm).  

Website: Gordie Howe International Bridge | Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority – An Overview 


Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH)  

Number of Placements: 1 

Description: WRH is one of the largest community hospitals in the Province of Ontario. It is the regional provider of advanced care in areas that include complex trauma, renal dialysis, cardiac care, stroke and neurosurgery, intensive care, acute mental health, family birthing centre, neonatal intensive care, paediatric services, regional cancer services, and a broad range of medical and surgical services required to support these specialised areas for more than 400,000 people in Windsor and Essex County. Student will be exposed to a wide range of legal areas, and others related to the provision of services in a hospital setting. Students work under the supervision of in-house lawyers at WRH. 

Hours: Students will primarily complete work during typical office hours (8:30am – 4:30pm). May be required to attend meetings outside these hours (eg 7 am or 5 pm). The placement is a hybrid model – virtual and in person. 

Website: Windsor Regional Hospital - Home (wrh.on.ca) 


Windsor-Essex Bilingual Legal Clinic 

Number of Placements: 2 

Description: Windsor-Essex Bilingual Legal Clinic provides bilingual legal services to members of the Windsor-Essex Community. Services are provided in the following areas of law: social benefits, housing, employment, CPP, human rights, and Small Claims. The clinic also engages in law reform and public legal education. Services are provided at no cost to people with low incomes.    

Duties: Students will engage in a range of duties including research, interviewing clients, writing submissions, observing and/or conducting hearings under close supervision, as appropriate. French speaking students are preferred but not required. English speaking students may also apply. Please indicate if you speak languages other than English and French.   

Hours: Work hours M-F 9 AM – 4:30 PM. This is an in-person placement. 

Website: Home - Clinique juridique bilingue Windsor-Essex Bilingual Legal Clinic (blc-cjb.com) 

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Windsor Law Externship Program Application (Fall 2024) 

Applications are now open for placements in Windsor Law's Externship Program Fall Term. The Externship Program places students for credit in clinics, firms, NGOs and other law-related placements. Students get hands-on experience in a supportive environment (4 credits), alongside an integration seminar (2 credits).  The course and placement take place simultaneously. Placement hours are negotiated directly with the supervising lawyer. Each placement is a unique experience; as such, please read placement profiles carefully. Please see placement profiles attached.  

More information about the Externship Program can be found here: https://www.uwindsor.ca/law/externships.   

Applications will be reviewed by the Externship Director in consultation with the Placement Supervisor. Successful applicants will be asked to complete an interview before they are selected for a position. Contact Professor Gemma Smyth with questions about this experience: gemma.smyth@uwindsor.ca.  
Apply via Qualtrics: Windsor Law Externship Program Application (Fall 2024).  

Please combine the following documents into a single PDF file when submitting: 

  • A cover letter addressed to Professor Gemma Smyth describing why you would like to be selected for an Externship position. Provide highlights of your experiences and learning that would contribute to an Externship placement. If you are selected for a particular placement, you will be asked to edit your cover letter for next stage of the process. Please ensure you meet all requirements of the placements you choose;  

  • Your resume; 

  • Your transcript (an unofficial transcript will suffice); and 

  • A legal writing sample of no more than 10 pages. DO NOT use your Legal Research and Writing Memo. DO NOT use work that has been co-authored. 

Deadline for application is June 24th, 2024, at 12:00 p.m.    

*Please note that the application survey will be launched shortly. Please return to check for updates soon.

General Information 

Applications are collected in the summer for the Fall term, and again in early Fall for the Winter term. Recruitment for any outstanding placements may take place closer to the start of the term. Students will be notified of the application details.

2L and 3L students may apply by submitting an online form via Qualtrics. Required documents for an application include a cover letter, resume, transcript (an unofficial transcript will suffice), and writing sample. Students are not guaranteed any particular placement but can rank placements in order of preference during the application process. Applications will be assessed in consultation with the Placement Supervisors.

View the Applicant Rubric

Students might be required to enroll in other Law courses before confirming an Externship placement. Students are therefore encouraged to enroll in all courses besides the Externship placement. If students secure an Externship placement, they will be given permission and instructions to enroll in both the Externship Placement (LAWG 5933-01) and the Learning in Place Seminar (LAWG 5932-01). Students can work with the Academic Coordinator’s Office to ensure the proper number of credits for a term. Students may also wish to request a credit overload form, available through the Academic Coordinator’s Office.

Students must simultaneously enrol in both the seminar (5932-01) and placement (5933-01) portions of the program for a total of 6 credits (2 for the seminar, 4 for the placement).

Thank you for hosting a student extern from Windsor Law. In order to be prepared for success, please take a moment to review the documents on this page.


Professor Gemma Smyth is the Externship Director. 

You can contact the Clinical and Experiential Learning Coordinator at externship@uwindsor.ca

Please fee free to reach out with any questions!

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