The Criminal Duty Counsels in 1000 Finch Ontario Court of Justice, are lawyers paid by Legal Aid Ontario. They provide a limited but much needed legal service in matters to people who arrive to court without representation.
Every Monday and Friday, CLASP sends two students to work in the Criminal Duty Counsel office at 1000 Finch. The shifts will run from 8:30 am to 1 pm. Each shift will be staffed by a Division Leader and a Caseworker. You will shadow the Division Leader for your first couple of visits and then you will be able to do more things on your own.
A typical day at 1000 Finch provides students with an eye opening experience in criminal law. Students will be on the front line as they start their day by going down into the cells and conducting bail interviews with individuals who are in custody. After the interview, students may have the opportunity to follow up with potential sureties.
Students will assist Criminal Duty Counsel in the court rooms by running phone calls and fax messages.
There will also be an opportunity for students to interview sureties. These interviews will help duty counsel determine if the proposed surety is an appropriate surety, and will assist in the development of a release plan to present to the court.
Students may also get the chance to do a guilty plea interview with the accused. Here, students will listen to the accused’s version of the incident and ensure that the accused understands the implications of a guilty plea.
This frontline experience is an excellent opportunity for students interested in Criminal law.
Students are required to attend Intake Volunteer training, Criminal Division and 1000 Finch Training.
|Your participation in CLASP will go towards your required 40 hours of OPIR. For more information please visit the OPIR website.|