The University of Ottawa is one of the country's most active campuses when it comes to refugee issues. Whether through student clubs, volunteering, unique course offering, or internships, there are many ways for students to be involved in our work.

Internships & Placements


CML 3173JA Law Related Internship - War Crimes Research Office
The War Crimes Research Office (WCRO) of American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC, serves as a source of expertise in international humanitarian and criminal law for international criminal courts and tribunals. In the past year, for example, the office undertook international law research projects for the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Special Panels for Serious Crimes in East Timor, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

In January 2005, the WCRO launched a January term exchange program in collaboration with the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. The program provides University of Ottawa law students with the opportunity to gain practical experience in international criminal law by conducting, under WCRO supervision, intensive research and writing on legal research projects for WCRO client institutions.  Alison Mitchell, the first student to participate in this program, remarked that it was “a fantastic opportunity to develop the skill of researching international criminal law issues. It was also a terrific way for me to apply my existing knowledge of international humanitarian law in a practical way.”  Alison subsequently took a position with the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Student-Proposed Internship in Immigration / Refugee Law
Common Law students have the opportunity to pursue self-proposed internships during their studies at the University of Ottawa.  These internships allow students to learn in a more practical setting, explore different legal fields and work environments, and gain new skills and experiences. Internships can be completed during any semester.

To learn more about Student Proposed Internships, see here.


CML 3248B Joint Placement  - Introduction to Legal Aid Clinic Course
The University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic (UOCLC) provides assistance to low-income area residents and to students at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. It also provides clinical legal experience to law students through the joint placement program (CML 3248B).

The joint placement program provides clinical legal experience to law students, helping them develop skills and confidence as legal professionals. Students will develop skills in interviewing and advising clients, negotiation, legal drafting, advocacy, file and practice management, and professional conduct.

Students selected for the joint placements conduct all casework in accordance with the placement clinic (or office) where he or she is placed. Casework shall be conducted at the student’s respective placement clinic (or office), not at the University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic.

Students may apply to CML 3248B for an external placement at a Community Legal Clinic or Legal Aid Office in the following areas of law:

  • Immigration/Refugee law;
  • Ontario Disability Support Program Appeals; and
  • Duty Counsel in the area of Family or Criminal law.



Community Legal Services Ottawa Centre
Community Legal Services (CLS) Ottawa represents clients in all immigration matters except for business immigration. This includes:

  • summary advice on immigration and refugee matters;
  • refugee claims;
  • Immigration Division and Immigration Appeal Division matters ranging from removal orders to sponsorship appeals;
  • detention reviews;
  • Humanitarian & Compassionate (H&C) applications;
  • inland sponsorship;
  • overseas applications in certain limited circumstances; and
  • judicial reviews;
  • occasional Supreme Court interventions.

CLS Ottawa participates in the Immigration & Refugee Law Placement Program, offering placements each year. Other possible ways for students to get involved with this clinic include via internships, directed research under clinic lawyer Michael Bossin, summer volunteer positions, and an articling position.

For more information:

1 Nicholas Street, Suite 422 
Ottawa, ON KlN 7B7
Tel: (613) 241-7008
Fax: (613) 241-8680


Legal Aid Ontario’s Integrated Legal Services Office (Ottawa Immigration and Refugee Law Office)
Legal Aid Ontario’s Integrated Legal Services Office represents low-income clients in Ottawa with the following refugee and immigration matters:

  • refugee claims;
  • appeals (refugee, deportation orders, etc.);
  • judicial reviews;
  • Humanitarian & Compassionate (H&C) applications;
  • detention reviews;
  • pre-risk removal assessments; and
  • danger opinions.

The Integrated Legal Services Office also offers an immigration duty counsel service. Eligible clients can obtain summary advice and brief assistance regarding all types of immigration matters.

Legal services are by appointment only and are offered in English, French, and Spanish. Interpretation is also available.

For more information:

Legal Aid Ontario  
73 Albert Street, on the ground floor, 
Ottawa, ON  K1P 1E3
Tel: (613) 238-7931 ext. 61
Toll free: 1-877-314-0933 ext. 61.


South Ottawa Community Legal Services
Like other Community Legal Clinics in Ottawa, South Ottawa Community Legal Services provides legal advice and legal representation to low income residents in most areas of immigration and refugee law.  This can include refugee hearings, judicial reviews, PRRA applications, deferral requests, motions to stay removal, H&C applications for permanent residence for families in Canada or for family members abroad, sponsorship appeals, detention reviews (in limited circumstances), and hearings on cessation and vacation of refugee status.  Clients are selected based on an assessment of merit, urgency, vulnerability of the client, and availability of lawyers to do the work.

For more information:
1355 Bank Street, Suite 406 
Ottawa, ON KlH 8K7
Tel: (613) 733-0140 TDD: (613) 733-4113 Fax: (613) 733-0401  

Vanier Community Service Center
Vanier Community Services Centre (VCSC) houses a French legal clinic, Clinique juridique francophone de l’Est d’Ottawa, (the Clinic) that provides services in French to lower-income individuals requiring assistance with Refugee Claims.  The Clinic has partnered with Legal Aid Ontario and has hired a part time lawyer to take on new clients.

As part of its work area, the Clinic will provide assistance for French speaking claimants.  The Clinic will assist clients with their refugee claims, help clients with the completion of their Basis of Claim forms, prepare the claimants for their hearings and represent them before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. 

Clients will benefit from receiving legal representation in French as well as the added benefit of appearing and testifying before a French decision-maker without requiring the aid of an interpreter. 

In addition to providing core legal aid services, VCSC has the added benefit of providing integrated services support to its clients, especially those who are newcomers to Canada, as a result of housing multi-service agencies.  Services are provided in the areas of employment, settlement services, youth centered services, family and early childhood services, as well as counseling, community development and social work.  Thanks to VCSC’s internal referral process, the legal staff is in a great position to help clients obtain essential services.

The Clinic has signed a pilot project agreement with Legal Aid Ontario in order to assist and represent more claimants with their refugee claims before the Immigration and Refugee Board. 

For more information:

290 Dupuis Street Ottawa, ON K1L 1A2
Tel: (613) 744-2892 Fax: (613) 744-3960


West End Legal Services of Ottawa
West End Legal Services (WELS) is a non-profit community legal clinic serving low-income persons in west Ottawa. The clinic provides legal services in the area of immigration and refugee protection law and other areas.

 WELS has an ongoing student placement program providing training to high school students, paralegal and law students. When resources allow, WELS places students seeking to fulfill the requirements of the Law Society of Upper Canada Bar Admission program.

For more information:

Linda Martineau (Office Manager), West End Legal Services
1301 Rue Richmond Road Ottawa, ON K2B 7Y4
Tel.: (613) 596-1641 Fax: 613-596-3364

CARL uOttawa

Founded in 2012, the uOttawa chapter of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL uOttawa) has grown into CARL’s largest student chapter, with over 100 members from the English Common Law, French Common Law and Civil Law programs. The organization’s various committees carry out particular tasks in support of CARL’s mandate of undertaking research, litigation, and advocacy for migrant rights.

For more information or to become a member, visit the CARL uOttawa website.

You can also follow CARL uOttawa on Twitter and join the CARL uOttawa Facebook group.

WUSC uOttawa

World University Services of Canada (WUSC) National

World University Services Canada (WUSC) is a leading Canadian non-profit organization in international development, committed to building a more equitable and sustainable world. It works with a unique network of post-secondary institutions, private-sector partners and volunteers to provide education, employment and empowerment opportunities that improve the lives of millions of disadvantaged youths around the world.

WUSC’s Student Refugee Program (SRP) is a refugee resettlement program which aims to:

  • assist students, whose studies have been interrupted or restricted because of a fear of persecution in their country of origin, to resume their post-secondary studies in Canada;
  • seek the commitment and co-operation of Canadian academic institutions by way of granting tuition fee waivers and accommodation assistance for these students;
  • provide means whereby socially-conscious student groups can work towards solidarity within the global academic community; and
  • encourage greater awareness of refugee issues among Canadian students and faculty.

 For more information, visit the WUSC SRP website, or email

You can also follow WUSC uOttawa on Twitter, join the WUSC uOttawa Facebook group and visit the WUSC uOttawa WordPress blog.