Ottawa Pro Bono Employment Law Legal Clinic launches for its second summer

Posted on Tuesday, July 6, 2021

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The Employment Law Clinic has recently launched for its second summer, taking on new employment law matters from June 1, 2021, and running until September 1, 2021. The Clinic primarily aims to serve people living on low-income who are experiencing work-related legal problems and who cannot afford a lawyer. Clinic services are available pro bono (for free) and in both official languages.

Employment law is not an area generally served by Legal Aid Ontario, although the Ottawa-area community legal clinics provide some assistance for employment insurance and workplace injury compensation matters. The Clinic was launched in the summer of 2020 in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment, job security and conditions of work. The Clinic operates with a team of volunteer lawyers supported by uOttawa law students, co-ordinated by a Clinic Director. In summer 2020, the Clinic offered nearly 2,000 hours of free legal assistance.

The 2021 edition of the Clinic is supported by the Faculty of Law’s Summer Student Support Initiative, which provides funding for law student summer fellowships, as well as the Law Foundation of Ontario.

The scope of the Clinic’s work includes the following:

  • Intake interview
  • Legal analysis (oral or written) of the client’s situation
  • Draft letters to current or former employers as applicable
  • Assist in writing the following legal documents to be submitted by the client:
    • Statements of Claim
    • Applications to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario
    • Complaints to the Canadian Human Rights Commission
    • Occupational Health and Safety Complaints to the Ministry of Labour/Labour Board
    • Employment Standards Act Complaints to the Ontario Ministry of Labour

Lawyers interested in volunteering as a clinic lawyer and willing to supervise a student can contact the Clinic. The time commitment is flexible and is typically about 5 hours weekly. Students are trained, and tasked with intake calls, research work, and drafting letters and pleadings.

For additional information regarding the Clinic, please visit our website: https://www.ottawalegalclinic.ca/

Please direct inquiries or referrals to Luke Prior at freelaw@uottawa.ca, or by phone at (613) 562.5800 Ex.3846.

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