Criminal Law division

Volunteer training and case rounds: Wednesdays from 12:40 pm – 1:55 pm
Fall 2017 upper year training: Wednesdays from 11:00am – 1:00pm; Winter 2017 TBD
(note: do not rank Criminal Law as a preference on your volunteer application unless you are available in the relevant timeslot)

Division description

DLS represents people charged with summary conviction offences at each of the five courthouses in Toronto. You can read more information about the types of cases that we accept here.

The work includes client counseling; case theory formulation; negotiation with Crown counsel; drafting of materials for various applications; as well as trial preparation and litigation.  The majority of the work in the division is oral advocacy, including many set date appearances, delivering sentencing submissions and conducting contested trials.  There is a significant amount of negotiation with opposing parties and client counseling.  Written advocacy is a less frequent opportunity, coming in our appeal cases and if Charter issues arise in any of our cases that go to trial.

Volunteer program

As an criminal division volunteer, you will attend training sessions intended to introduce you to the relevant principles of criminal law, criminal procedure, client counselling and negotiation that you will require to work in the division.

First year volunteer program

As a 1L criminal division volunteer, you will attend the weekly training sessions and case rounds on Wednesdays. You will work with your division leaders and other criminal division caseworkers on their files, working your way up to taking files in a partnership with a division leader. You will be assigned a specific division leader to mentor you through the year.

Upper year volunteer program

There will be six two-hour training sessions, weekly on Wednesdays from 11:00-1:00. For the remainder of the academic year, you will attend case rounds every other week to discuss ongoing files with your fellow students and review counsel. Upper year volunteers will be expected to take on two files over the course of the year. Those who are new to the division can be paired with a specific division leader to mentor you through the year.

Those who have already volunteered as an upper year student and those who have already taken the credit course do not have to attend any further training.

This program is open to 2nd and 3rd year JD students and all LLM and SJD students.