Information for Students

An intensive learning opportunity for third-year law students

Dalhousie Legal Aid Service provides a structured experiential learning environment that allows you to learn and practice lawyering skills in a community law office located in north-end Halifax. Emphasis is placed on skills training, independence and self reliance. You are given the opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge that is not a part of traditional legal education. To learn more, download Introduction for Students - What's Expected [DOC - 42 kB].

Work with clients

Through the experience of working with actual clients, grappling with complex fact situations and finding or creating solutions to problems, you are provided with a context that enables you to understand and reflect on the role and responsibility of a lawyer in society. You get to do the things a lawyer does as an articled clerk member of the provincial Barristers’ Society.

Practice running a practice

In addition to the nuts and bolts skills of interviewing, counseling, negotiating, and trial advocacy, you can learn the basics of running a practice: tickler systems, file management, ethical considerations such as conflicts, confidentiality, and the interpersonal aspects of lawyering.

Gain a unique perspective

A term at the clinic can provide you with a broader outlook on how the legal system operates and affects those living in poverty. It gives you a unique perspective on access to justice and your professional obligation to promote and protect the same. In the final analysis, it provides you with the ability to bring the law to life, to experience law in action.

What's required

In addition to the formal seminar and skills training program, you will create a Reflective Portfolio by submitting 12 written reflective pieces (four skills-based and eight experience-based) as well as evidence of your very best work. The program is worth 13 credits and runs throughout the year in three terms: winter, summer and fall. Your performance is rated pass/fail/honours.