Under the aegis of the L. Kerry Vickar Business Law Clinic, the Business Law Clinical Internship is an experiential learning course that combines basic instruction on fundamental organizational and transactional legal concepts together with practical experience. The Business Law Clinical Internship course provides students with a focus on solicitors’ work in the context of private practice or as in-house counsel. The Business Law Clinical Internship is designed to provide students with training and experience by combining faculty-led workshops and regular feedback seminars with practitioner-supervised legal work on client files from the L. Kerry Vickar Business Law Clinic and/or simulated scenarios. Students will be exposed to solicitors’ work from a variety of entities ranging from not-for-profit, charitable, or community-based entities, to start up enterprises with limited means, provided on a pro bono basis. Targeted areas of skills development are client management, risk management, transaction management, entity choice and formation, drafting techniques, legal research, registry searches, regulatory compliance, good governance, stakeholder activism, and social responsibility. The skills the students develop are transferable to a traditional business law practice. The goal of the Business Law Clinical Internship is to expose students to the practical aspects of corporate and commercial law carried out with professional responsibility and sense of public obligation.
The Business Law Clinical Internship is a 3 credit hour course available in both the fall and winter semesters. It is open to third-year law students providing that those students have completed Corporations I. Enrolment will be limited to 12 students.
The course is comprised of weekly faculty-led workshops with guest lectures, followed by reflection sessions to discuss issues, problem solve and present experiences to the other students, and internship practise activities with mentor supervision. Potential workshop topics include: minute book reviews, statutory compliance reviews, entity formation, applications for charitable status, public searches, corporate records management, good governance best practices and policy reviews, effective management of board and committee meetings, management oversight, director independence, risk management, and voting issues. Contemporaneously with the workshop sessions, students will engage in practice activities with mentor supervision and report on the progress of those experiences in the group seminar session. These seminar sessions will take place following the workshop session each week. The purpose of the feedback sessions is to review progress on assigned documents as a group, resolve outstanding issues, share learning experiences, and discuss best practices.
Internship practice activities will come from the L. Kerry Vickar Business Law Clinic or the Course Instructor. Each student will work on a practical aspect of solicitors’ matters such as: choosing and forming a legal entity, drafting by-laws, filing for tax-exempt status, records searches, contract and policy drafting, status filings, due diligence, minute book reviews, annual general meeting preparation, etc.
Each student will:
- produce one precedent quality document on their assigned topic or file,
- contribute one 500 word blog post on a topic dealing with business law in Manitoba or Canada that engages issues of practice. Each post must contain 5 scholarly or primary sources,
- contribute two relevant twitter posts.
The Business Law Clinical Internship course aims to:
- Help prepare students for corporate and transactional practice;
- Provide familiarity with the documents, methods, and parlance of corporate practice;
- Develop an understanding of how substantive legal knowledge can be applied;
- Enhance the understanding of the obligations of professionalism as they arise in a practical context;
- Provide an opportunity to enhance writing and oral communication skills; and
- Identify the solicitor as a socially responsible enterprise architect.
The goal of the Business Law Clinical Internship course is to prepare students for corporate practice and develop a sense of social responsibility by exposing students to practical materials, methods, and relevant real-life situations. Students will have the opportunity to perform a variety of specific tasks and broader analytical work within a relevant business law context.
By combining classroom instruction with client work, engaging expert mentorship from outside the faculty, allowing students to interact with clients in a learning environment, and providing students the opportunity to discuss their experiences with each other and the instructor, students achieve a more comprehensive understanding of business law.
The L. Kerry Vickar Business Law Clinic provides the overall organizational support for the Business Law Clinical Internship in order to support a year-round (two academic terms plus the summer) clinical experience that is tied to the pedagogical goals of both business and clinical legal education.
Note: Issues relating to the provision of supervised legal information, specific method of supervision, or managing potential student/mentor conflicts will be handled in conjunction with the Manitoba Law Society