About the Business Law Clinic

Mandate

The University of Ottawa Business Law Clinic (BLC) is Canada’s first bilingual and bijural program dedicated to providing pro bono business-oriented legal services. The BLC assists startups, SMEs, non-profit organizations, and individuals who cannot afford a lawyer. The BLC works with experienced practitioners, who supervise upper year law students in the delivery of services in the following areas: corporate/commercial law, intellectual property, employment, basic tax, charities, and commercial arbitration.

The BLC also produces public education seminars on relevant business law topics in order to improve access to basic legal information for its constituents. The BLC takes clients from across the country, but focuses on the underserviced regions of Eastern and Northern Ontario.

Supervising lawyers

The uOttawa Business Law Clinic is a great way for business law practitioners to get involved in pro bono work that’s relevant to their practice with less time and effort. Second and third year law students – called Senior Caseworkers – do much of the client work, which is overseen by our supervising lawyers. It’s also a great way to mentor aspiring business lawyers, and meet new clients. The BLC expects that many of its clients will outgrow the program and become regular clients our supervising lawyers. 

The relationship between Senior Caseworkers and Supervising Lawyers is the same as that between a summer student and lawyer in a firm. While the Supervising Lawyer is ultimately responsible for quality of the work done, the Senior Caseworker can do a lot of the work, as long as direct supervision is provided. Direct supervising generally involves the following five elements:
  1. an initial meeting with the client and Senior Caseworker; 
  2. providing direction with respect to the tasks that need to accomplished; 
  3. ensuring that the Senior Caseworker has the knowledge and resources to complete the tasks; 
  4. being available to answer the Senior Caseworker’s questions; and 
  5. reviewing all final documents or advice.  
The BLC is looking for Supervising Lawyers in the follow general areas of law: corporate/commercial, intellectual property, employment, basic tax, non-profit and charities, and commercial arbitration. 
If you are interested in joining our roster of Supervising Lawyers, please contact us at cda-blc@uOttawa.ca.
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