Juris Doctor – J.D. » Clinical Learning

The J.D. curriculum invites critical assessment of the role of law in society as well as the development of skills relevant to the practice of law. In addition to lectures and seminars, students are given an opportunity to develop, under supervision, some of the research, writing, and forensic skills which will prove essential in the practise of law.

First Year

In first year, students are acquainted with the various resource materials available in a law library, and develop legal research and writing skills. As part of the mandatory first-year Legal Systems course, students take part in Robson Hall’s Judge Shadowing program, where students get out of the classroom and into the courtroom. Seeing the law in action humanises the casebook for students who consistently rank the course highly, describing it as: “the best part of first year learning … that brings together everything in the courses and adds a dose of reality.”

Upper Years

In second and third years, students must participate in moot courts (fictitious trials and appeals) as in the mandatory second-year Introduction to Advocacy course, for example, which provides training in research, examination of witnesses, and courtroom argument, as well as the hands-on Negotiation course, which trains students for dispute resolution advocacy.

Students may choose to further hone their advocacy training in second and third year by trying-out for the Robson Hall Mooting Program, to represent Robson Hall in various moot competitions across Canada.

In third year, students may choose from a range of for-credit Clinical Courses including the following:

L. Kerry Vickar Business Law Clinic

Robson Hall operates the L. Kerry Vickar Business Law Clinic headed by a faculty-based director and supported by volunteer supervisors from the practising bar. This community-focused clinic provides law students with real-world experience in assessing and analyzing the start-up and governance needs of entrepreneurs and not-for-profit entities by preparing legal information useful to them. The Clinic gives third-year students hands-on exposure to business law while also providing clients with helpful background materials informing and assisting them in their dealings with their own lawyers.
Read the full course description.

Innocence Clinic

The Robson Hall Innocence Clinic provides post-conviction review and advocacy to clients claiming to have been wrongfully convicted. Post-conviction review of a file is a lengthy and often complex undertaking. The clinic is run by Professor Ireland with invaluable help and support from members of the Manitoba Bar. Each year, a limited number of third-year students are selected to work on files for academic credit. Students who work in the clinic must be prepared to put significant time into reading case files, analyzing materials and developing investigatory strategies for our clients. The purpose of the clinic is to offer invaluable pro bono services to those in need while simultaneously providing essential clinical education for law students.
Read the full course description.

Journals and Publications

Students have opportunities to work with the Faculty Members who edit the well-known scholarly journals housed at Robson Hall, including the Canadian Journal of Human Rights - Canada’s only journal focusing on Human Rights, the Manitoba Law Journal, and the Asper Review of International Business and Trade Law. For-credit courses are available to second and third-year students under Scholarly Publications (Professor Short) and Scholarly Publications (Professor Schwartz and Professor MacPherson).

Legal Aid Manitoba Clinic

The University of Manitoba Law Centre commenced operation in 1970 with the two-fold purpose of furthering clinical education by exposing law students to actual legal problems and aiding persons who are unable financially to hire a lawyer or receive legal service through the existing Legal Aid Service Society of Manitoba. The Centre, as presently constituted, is the official adjunct of the Legal Aid Service Society of Manitoba and supervised by practising lawyers and members of the Faculty of Law.

As volunteers at the Centre, Second and Third Year students operate under the guidance of a supervising lawyer. Students are involved in everything from the initial interview to appearing in court if the case goes to trial. This is a great chance for you to put all your legal knowledge to use, and gain valuable experience at the same time. Academic credit is available, but students may also volunteer during the summer (even after first year!).
Read the full course description.

Legal Help Centre Internship

The mandate of the Legal Help Centre is to assist disadvantaged members of the community (all persons earning under $50,000 annual income who do not qualify for Legal Aid) understand and access legal and social rights. LHC offers a socio – legal approach to problem solving, recognizing that there are often many layers beneath the surface of a legal problem. In addition to providing appropriate community referrals and legal information, LHC offers workshops for people who are representing themselves, and when resources permit it offers representation by law students working under the supervision of LHC’s staff lawyer or another approved volunteer lawyer.
Read the full course description.

Research

Under the auspices of the Legal Research Institute, students may work as research assistants to professors during the summer or regular term. Students also have the opportunity to work as editors of Robson Hall’s scholarly publications. See Journals and Publications (above). Visit the Research section of the website for more information about Research at Robson Hall.

Robson Crim

Robson Crim is an immersive and intensive clinical set of opportunities for students interested in the criminal law area. Robson Crim houses the Robson Hall Innocence Clinic (which can also be taken as a course) where students are immersed in working on real files under the supervision of Professor David Ireland.

Additionally, Robson Crim administers the REED Designation which allows students to earn co-curricular credits for legal blawgs of a substantial nature. Meritorious blawgs are published on the Robson Crim website.

Robson Crim also receives submissions from an international cadre of legal scholars and students and conducts editing and peer review of these pieces. Robson Crim boasts an advisory collective of experts that spans North America and Europe and provides an excellent source of interesting news and opportunities for members of the practice-based and scholarly legal community.

Robson Crim trains students in legal and scholarly publications to produce an annual criminal law edition of the Manitoba Law Journal. Students are trained in citation checking, peer review administration, legal writing, deadline management, author networking, and marketing, in this intensive experience.

Robson Crim also holds special events highlighting issue of injustice in criminal law systems.

To read our journal, blawgs and to learn more about our special events, please visit our website. Robson Crim also has a vibrant Facebook and Twitter profile, engaging regularly in discussion of current affairs in criminal law and justice.

To get involved in Robson Crim, contact Richard JochelsonDavid Ireland or Amar Khoday.

Throughout their legal studies, students may also take the opportunity to serve actual legal clients through volunteering with the: