Active Learning

Active learning is a learning process that differs from the traditional teaching process by which students passively receive information. Through active learning, students learn by doing and participating.  The University of Ottawa’s common law section appreciates the effectiveness of active learning in improving students’ law school performance and offers numerous active learning opportunities to allow students to develop practical experience through legal clinics, moot competitions, Pro Bono Students Canada, internship opportunities, mentorship programs and fellowships. 

The University of Ottawa offers approximately 400 internships a year.  These internships allows students to benefit from expanded curriculum options, study legal issues from a new and different perspective and create a network of contacts within the legal profession.  

The following is a non-exhaustive list of active learning opportunities available to our law students.

Mentorship Programs

Legal Links and Bridges (LL&B)

Legal Links & Bridges (LL&B) has been one of the most developed mentoring programs in the country since its launch in 1997.  The program pairs first-year law students with members of the legal community, providing students with the opportunity to connect with lawyers with similar legal and non-legal interests.

Student applications are sent to students by early September each year and the deadline to apply is in the fall. Students who are interested in applying after the deadline can pick up an application from the Legal Links and Bridges office at the Common Law Student Centre, FTX 237.  If you would like to obtain more information regarding this program, please contact the program coordinator.  


Legal Links & Bridges

University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Common Law Section
FTX 233D, 57 Louis Pasteur St.
Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5
Tel: 613-562-5800 x. 7415

Fax: 613-562-5875

Criminal Law Courthouse Mentorship Program

This informal mentorship opportunity was spearheaded by Justice David Paciocco. The program pairs students interested in Criminal law with a Justice, a Crown Attorney, or a Defence Lawyer at the 161 Elgin Street Courthouse. In addition to a wonderful networking opportunity, students can gain a better understanding of the practical aspects of these challenging and interesting professions. For more information, please contact the program coordinator.

2015 Criminal Law Courthouse Mentorship Application Form


Criminal Law Courthouse Mentorship Program 

University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law,
 Common Law Section
FTX 233, 57 Louis Pasteur St.
Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5
Tel: 613-562-5800 x. 7415

Fax: 613-562-5875 


Law Practice Program

The French Law Practice Program (LPP) offers Canadian law school graduates (J.D. or equivalent) a new pathway to accreditation and membership with the Law Society of Upper Canada.

The purpose of the LPP is to facilitate the transition between law school and legal practice. Designed by lawyers who are experts in their respective areas of law and known for their community involvement, our innovative curriculum will teach our candidates to think and act like lawyers.

The University of Ottawa LPP’s mission is to promote access to justice for Francophones by training highly qualified lawyers able to offer their legal services in French. As a result, our LPP is offered only in French. To complete the Law Practice Program in English, consult Ryerson University’s LPP, which is also an alternative route to the legal profession.

Fellowship and Travel Bursary

Fellowship and Travel Bursary can be a source of funding for students who want to engage in work during the summer that might not otherwise be remunerated.  Some fellowships fund opportunities for students to work on social justice topics or with public interest organizations; others are available for students wanting to work with small law firms or sole practitioners.  Fellowships must be applied for well in advance of the summer and typically the selection process is quite competitive.  Fellowships are granted based on both the strength of the applicant and the quality of the project/work being proposed.  The purpose of this handbook is to assist students in the preparation of their Fellowship application.

All Summer Fellowship opportunities are advertised to students as the deadlines approach.  Typically, applications will be due in early March each year.  Detailed information about each fellowship opportunity will be published in The Source Document Library at that time.

  • Public Interest Fellowship
  • International Social Justice Fellowship
  • Small Firm or Sole Practitioner Fellowship
  • Directed Small Firm or Sole Practitioner Fellowship (Ahlul Bayt Centre)
  • Directed Public Interest Fellowship
  • Amatul Rahman Malik Justice Fellowship
  • International Travel Bursary  

Common Law students have the opportunity to pursue different Internships during their studies at the University of Ottawa. These internships provide students with the opportunity to gain practical experience and expose them to a variety of practice areas and work environments.

  • Student-Proposed Internship
  • Ontario Court of Justice Practicum Internship
  • Department of Justice Internship
  • Department of Justice Internship -  Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Section
  • Global Affairs Canada Internship
  • Federal Tribunals Practice Internship
  •  Russomanno Criminal Law Internship
  • Family Law with Sharp Ang Family Lawyers
  • Ayesha Kumararatne Immigration Law Internship
  • Just Governance Group Internship
  • Legislative Development Internship – Senate of Canada
  • Advanced Legislative Development Internship – Senate of Canada
  • Stage en droit communautaire
Pro Bono Students Canada

Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC) is a national network of law students, community organizations and lawyers all working together to solve traditionally unmet legal problems. PBSC encourages students and legal professionals to volunteer in their communities to provide valuable pro bono legal services and access to justice to underrepresented and disadvantaged individuals, groups, and organizations.  PBSC facilitates these efforts by matching volunteer law students with non-profit organizations, government agencies, legal clinics, lawyers working pro bono and other public interest groups to provide information in a legal context.  All student work is supervised by a volunteer lawyer. With a chapter in every law school in Canada, around 1500 PBSC law student volunteers provide about 120,000 hours of free legal services to various organizations each year.


UOttawa-Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic

The uOttawa-Ecojustice Clinic fills a major gap in Canada’s environmental capacity, by providing a long-needed public interest environmental law organization in the nation’s capital. The Clinic draws on the University’s strengths in environmental law and related fields such as economics, science and public health, and on Ecojustice’s strengths in law, policy and science. Students from law, together with ones from science and other disciplines, get hands-on experience working on environmental issues, on behalf of community and non-profit clients, under the supervision of experienced lawyers and professors.

University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic

The University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic provides legal services to the community, including providing legal education, advocacy and law reform for, and on behalf of, people of low income, members of historically disadvantaged groups, and students.  The Clinic provides legal education to law students in uOttawa’s Common Law Section. Law students working as caseworkers gain practical legal skills and court/tribunal experience while making a contribution to the Ottawa community.

Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC)

CIPPIC is based at uOttawa’s Common Law Section.  It seeks to ensure balance in policy and law-making processes on issues that arise as a result of new technologies. Law students work with clinic counsel on projects and cases involving the intersection of law, technology and the public interest.

uOttawa Business Law Clinic

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.

Global Health law Clinic

The Global Health Law Clinic is a one-of-a-kind experiential learning opportunity for students interested in gaining exposure to global health law and policy issues. Students will gain experience tackling real-world global health challenges, writing for external audiences, and working with high-level leaders through providing research, analysis, and advice for United Nations agencies, national governments, and civil society organizations.

Moot Competitions

The University of Ottawa common law section participates to a number of Moot Competitions every year. Students have the opportunity to try-out for moot for English, French and Bilingual moot competitions in various areas of the law. For example, our students have participated in the following external moot competitions in the past:

English Moots

  • FMC GALE CUP MOOT – Simulation of Recent SCC Case
  • HAROLD G. FOX MOOT – Intellectual Property Law
  • KAWASKIMHON LAW MOOT – National Aboriginal Law
  • WILSON MOOT – Equality Issues
  • WILLEM C. VIS INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION MOOT – International Commercial Law and Arbitration
  • ELSA MOOT COURT COMPETITION – WTO Dispute Settlement System

Bilingual Moots

  • ARNUP CUP / SOPINKA CUP – Criminal Law
  • LASKIN MOOT – Administrative and Constitutional Law

French Moots

Legal Research and Writing

The Dean’s Research and Writing Fellows Program is a unique and challenging opportunity open to top achieving upper year students with keen writing skills and demonstrated leadership abilities.  Successful applicants must have excellent research and communication skills and superior academic achievement. Dean’s Fellows work with a lawyer-mentor on an advanced and realistic research problem, and receive intensive writing instruction from program director, Professor Melanie Mallet.  Dean’s Fellows learn new, more efficient research skills and produce a high quality written work that showcases their writing skills. Fellows will lead small tutorial sessions of the first year course, Principles of Legal Research, CML 1101

Legal Writing Academy Portfolio and Leadership is a three-unit course for twelve upper year students with excellent writing and interpersonal skills.   The course is given in English only. Students will produce three high-quality pieces of legal writing to showcase to future employers.  Students who demonstrate outstanding writing and interpersonal skills will be eligible to become paid Legal Writing Academy Peer Mentors during the academic year.  

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