Supervision in the Clinic Setting: what we Really Want Students to Learn

Douglas D. Ferguson


This paper focuses on certain key elements of student supervision in Community Legal Services at Western University in London, Canada. Our clinic offers a very broad range of legal services, ranging from criminal law to wills, and consumer law to housing, with 125-150 students taking part in 800-1,000 files per year.

The first part of this paper will examine compliance with the supervision requirements of the profession’s governing body. Clinic supervision in a clinic must start with compliance with the regulator. The supervision requirements of the Law Society of Ontario are set out to demonstrate the standards Community Legal Services must meet.

This paper will then discuss the classroom component consisting of lectures and simulation exercises where we deal with professional identity, ethical issues, sensitization to the lives of our clients, awareness of the importance of access to justice, and the capacity of legal processes.

I will discuss our online materials for the classroom, including our Caseworker Manual which provides guidance in substantive law, court/tribunal rules, and clinic policies and procedures.

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Copyright (c) 2019 Douglas D. Ferguson

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ISSN 1467-1069
ESSN 2056-3930