Note: if you require an accessible copy of the job ad list, please contact us.

Overview

The Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) employs more than 1800 lawyers and approximately 100 articling students and 70 summer law students who work both within the ministry and across government.

MAG is made up of 10 divisions, five of which hire law students:

  • Court Services Division
  • Criminal Law Division
  • Civil Law Division
  • Policy Division
  • Victims and Vulnerable Persons Division

Counsel across government specialize in almost every area of substantive law, including:

  • Indigenous
  • constitutional
  • civil
  • criminal
  • health
  • environmental
  • family
  • tax
  • corporate
  • commercial
  • labour and employment

On this page you can find information about the various offices, including:

  • main areas of law that they practice
  • their location
  • recent cases

Use the information below to help decide what type of law you might be interested in and what office would be a good fit for you.

Court Services Division

Location: Toronto

Average number of articling students:  two

Average number of summer law students: N/A

Size of office: 10 – 20 lawyers

Contact: CSD.articlingstudent@ontario.ca

Our work

The Counsel Unit within the Court Services Division (CSD) gives strategic legal advice and policy/program support on all matters related to the administration of the courts. Counsel provides strategic legal policy advice related to the justice system, including legislative and regulatory amendments and advice on all practical aspects of running a public service, including contracts, compliance, etc.

Our work includes:

  • providing legal advice to senior management and staff about the operation of criminal, Provincial Offences Act, family and civil courts and related legislation, regulations and court rules
  • supporting litigation by liaising with court staff and instructing litigation counsel on cases in areas such as negligence, defamation, human rights, accessibility, constitutionality of legislation, etc.
  • developing and drafting legislative instruments
  • advising on access to information and court records, privacy, contracts and procurements

Our students

CSD provides articling students with a unique opportunity to be involved in the full range of policy and legislative projects, ushering policy decisions affecting Ontario courts through the legislative and regulatory processes and actively engaging in the program development, implementation and monitoring stages.

Our students have:

  • researched legal questions and prepared legal opinions, researched memos and/or present findings orally to clients
  • supported the development of policy and law on court-related issues and initiatives, including:
    • inter-jurisdictional research
    • participating on inter-ministerial committees
    • drafting discussion papers
    • preparing briefing materials for senior officials
    • assisting with legislative and regulatory initiatives relating to the justice system
  • prepared materials and guides to assist litigants in navigating courts and responded to questions from members of the public about court-related matters

Recent major files

Key areas of law

  • civil, enforcement and estates
  • family
  • criminal and Provincial Offences
  • freedom of Information and Privacy
  • public

Criminal Law Division

Crown Law Office - Criminal

Location: Toronto

Average number of articling students: 10

Average number of summer law students:  six second year students

Size of office: 60 – 100

Contact: Diane Hunter at diane.p.hunter@ontario.ca

Our work

The Crown Law Office Criminal is responsible for nearly all criminal appeals of indictable matters in Ontario. Most of our work involves the preparation and argument of appeals to the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada. A major part of our work is conducting trials such as “special prosecutions” for significant commercial crime offences and justice prosecutions for serious offences committed by people employed within the justice system, including police and lawyers.

Our work includes:

  • assisting Crown counsel in the preparation of appeals
  • supporting Crown counsel who are prosecuting the police or other justice system participants
  • assisting Crown counsel who are providing pre-trial search advice to the police
  • developing criminal law policy
  • assisting with appeals of non-represented appellants

Our students

With over 90 lawyers engaged in all aspects of criminal practice, we offer a unique and unparalleled experience to our students. Each student is assigned a mentor or principal who assigns and monitors work and provides feedback and guidance to ensure a well-rounded experience. Students assist counsel in preparing for their upcoming trials or appeals, often resulting in precedent-setting judgments that reflect student input.

Our students have:

  • attended trials, appeals and other meetings related to the file they work on
  • prosecuted traffic offences at Provincial Offences Act court
  • assisted and attended the Toronto or Kingston Court of Appeal sittings for the Pro Bono Inmate Appeal Program
  • attended in-house education conferences
  • drafted factums
  • researched memos

Recent major files

  • R. v. Chouhan
  • R. v. Sullivan
  • R. v. Theriault
  • R. v.  Forcillo

Key areas of law

The key areas of law practiced at our office are criminal and quasi-criminal law.

Crown Attorney Offices

Location: Various, across Ontario

Average number of articling students: 40

Average number of summer law students: 30 second year students

Size of office: Varies

Contact: Find contacts for each region.

Our work

The Crown Attorneys’ offices are responsible for prosecuting a majority of criminal offences in the Province of Ontario, from summary conviction offences in the Ontario Court of Justice to the most serious indictable offences in the Superior Court of Justice. Prosecutions occur throughout the province, from locations as remote as fly-in First Nations communities to the country’s busiest courthouses in downtown Toronto.

Assistant Crown Attorneys attend court routinely and have carriage of prosecutions ranging from minor thefts all the way up to first-degree murders. The Crown Attorneys’ offices are also responsible for summary conviction appeals.

The job of an Assistant Crown Attorney is varied, exciting and fast-paced. It requires counsel to think on their feet as well as ensure the best interest of the public is upheld.

Assistant Crown Attorneys are responsible for all stages of a prosecution, including:

  • providing legal advice to police as they investigate criminal offences
  • conducting bail hearings
  • screening charges to determine the appropriate method of proceeding and the possible outcome
  • engaging in plea discussions with accused persons and defence counsel
  • conducting trials in front of judges sitting alone and in front of juries
  • making submissions as to the appropriate penalty after a finding of guilt or a guilty plea
  • conducting summary conviction appeals

Our students

Students with the Crown Attorneys’ offices conduct legal research on a wide variety of issues and draft materials such as motions, applications and facta. When assisting with trials, students frequently participate in witness interviews and are encouraged to attend court to see how their work plays out in the courtroom atmosphere.

Students are given the opportunity to develop their own advocacy skills by appearing regularly in set date court and Provincial Offences court where, after being trained by provincial prosecutors, they are given the opportunity to run a trial list on their own. There are also opportunities to conduct summary conviction trials and guilty pleas in the Ontario Court of Justice.

Students are assigned a mentor or principal who will provide feedback and guidance to ensure each student has a well-rounded experience.

Our students have:

  • drafted factums
  • drafted research memoranda
  • prosecuted provincial offences

Recent Major Cases

  • R. v. Jordan
  • R. v. Boucher
  • R. v. Nixon

Key Areas of law

Civil Law Division

Civil Law Division manages two central legal branches that provide legal services for the entire Government of Ontario:

Civil Law Division also manages 18 legal services branches that provide legal services to specific ministries within the Government of Ontario:

Crown Law Office - Civil

Location: Toronto

Average number of articling students: 14 – 16

Average number of summer law students: 10 – 12 second year students (including three students via the Aboriginal Law Summer Student Program)

Size of office: 100+

Contact:

Our work

The Crown Law Office – Civil (CLOC) is the central civil litigation and advisory office for the Government of Ontario. 

CLOC’s litigation counsel act for:

  • the Attorney General
  • Crown ministries
  • agencies
  • corporations
  • administrative decision-makers across Ontario

They appear in all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada and various tribunals. They are routinely involved in complex, high-profile matters.

Our work includes:

  • handling litigation in Indigenous law, administrative law, bankruptcy and insolvency, class actions, corporate and commercial law, regulatory negligence and general public law
  • acting for parties in public inquiries and Coroner’s inquests with a significant Crown interest
  • advising on legal issues with government-wide significance to other ministries, Cabinet Office and the Premier’s office
  • advising on major procurement and other critical commercial projects

Our students

Students are an integral part of our office and are given significant responsibility, working closely with litigation counsel from multiple practice groups.

Our students have:

  • assisted counsel in all phases of actions, applications, appeals and tribunal proceedings, including legal research and drafting pleadings, facta and other court documents
  • attended scheduled hearings
  • helped with major litigation under supervision of counsel and Small Claims Court, tribunals and Provincial Offences Act proceedings

Recent major files

  • Ontario v Clark, 2021 SCC 18 (scope of prosecutorial immunity for Crown attorneys)
  • Cirillo v Ontario, 2021 ONCA 353 (challenging bail system in the province of Ontario)
  • Restoule v Ontario (three-stage litigation involving interpretation of the Robinson Treaties’ annuity provisions)
  • Public Inquiry into the Safety and Security of Residents in the Long-Term Care Homes System
  • Hudson’s Bay Company ULC v Ontario, 2020 ONSC 8046 (challenge to COVID-19-related public health measures)

Key areas of law

  • general civil litigation and advisory services
  • Aboriginal litigation and Indigenous legal issues
  • administrative law
  • corporate/commercial litigation
  • class actions
  • inquests and inquiries

Constitutional Law Branch

Location: Toronto

Average number of articling students:  three

Average number of summer law students: three second year students

Size of office: 20 – 40

Contact: Josh Hunter, (A) Deputy Director at Joshua.Hunter@ontario.ca

Our work

Constitutional Law Branch (CLB) counsel advise on and litigate cutting edge legal issues. Our lawyers are among the few in Canada who focus exclusively on constitutional law.

Our cases often raise issues of national public importance and tend to attract significant media attention. Our practice is fascinating, intellectually challenging and highly rewarding. The work requires a flexible, sensitive and creative approach to legal and public policy issues, in addition to a sound knowledge of the law.

Our works includes:

  • advising the Ontario government on constitutional issues on various programs, policies and legislation
  • litigating constitutional cases (except criminal cases and Indigenous rights cases) on behalf of the Government of Ontario before tribunals and all levels of court
  • participating in constitutional reform and related activities

Our students

CLB students are involved in all stages of a litigation file and undertake in-depth constitutional research on a wide range of issues. Students are encouraged to attend any related court proceedings. Where possible, we aim to bring our articling students to the Supreme Court of Canada. With consistent support, counsel assign and monitor work, provide day-to-day supervision and regular feedback and mentor students.

Our students have:

  • worked on all phases of legal actions, applications and appeals in court and tribunal proceedings
  • drafted pleadings and factums
  • organized and analyzed documents
  • prepared materials for and attended motion hearings
  • interviewed and prepared witnesses
  • made submissions before tribunals or at the provincial court level with counsel supervision

Recent major files

  • Toronto (City) v. Ontario (Attorney General), 2019 ONCA 732 – SCC decision under reserve (freedom of expression and unwritten constitutional principles)
  • Fraser v. Canada (Attorney General), 2020 SCC 28 (adverse impact discrimination)
  • Reference re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, 2021 SCC 11 (division of powers and climate change)

Key areas of law

  • constitutional law
  • human rights
  • civil litigation
  • administrative law

Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Location: Guelph

Average number of articling students:   one

Average number of summer law students: one

This office has had Law Practice Program placements

Size of office: 10 – 20 lawyers and business professionals

Contact:Lane Murray, (A) Manager of Business Operations at lane.murray@ontario.ca

Our work

The Legal Services Branch (LSB) of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) gives legal advice to:

  • strengthen Ontario’s agri-food sector
  • enforce and improve food safety
  • protect the environment
  • support Ontario’s rural communities

Areas our lawyers advise on include:

  • Food Safety and Inspection Branches
  • program design and administration to support innovative agri-food sector
  • real estate and other commercial transactions such as transfer payment agreements
  • interpretations of and amendments to legislation and regulations
  • drafting Orders in Council and Ministers Orders for establishing new programs
  • Ministry’s agencies, boards and commissions, including its adjudicative and regulatory agencies

Our students

OMAFRA’s Legal Services Branch is mid-sized, allowing students more opportunities to work on a wide range of projects that transform agriculture, food sectors and rural communities for a healthy Ontario. Our students work on legal opinions on new agri-business policies and support litigation files.

Recent major files

  • UFCW v. Aurora Cannabis
  • transfer payment agreement with the University of Guelph to advance research and innovation in the agri-food sector and protect animal and public health
  • food safety, including meat inspection

Key areas of law

  • agriculture
  • administrative
  • civil
  • commercial
  • environmental

Children, Community and Social Services

Location: Toronto

Average number of articling students:  two

Average number of summer law students: n/a

This office has Law Practice Program, Aboriginal Law Summer Student Program and Lakehead University Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC) placements.

Size of office:  30 – 50

Contact: Cheryl Ellison, Counsel at cheryl.ellison@ontario.ca

Our work

The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) Legal Services Branch (LSB) provides legal advice to senior management and staff with respect to the ministry’s operations, legislation, regulations and litigation involving ministry programs. The statutes administered by the ministry include legislation governing social assistance, child welfare, youth justice, adoption, and the provision of services for individuals with developmental disabilities. 

Our work includes:

  • providing strategic and proactive legal advice to help ministry clients assess the impact of proposed policy initiatives and associated operational changes, including changes to legislation and regulations
  • drafting and interpreting legislation and providing program/policy advice in all ministry program areas, including Child Welfare and Protection, Social Assistance, Developmental Services, Adoption, Youth Justice and Women’s Issues and Indigenous law
  • representing the ministry in social assistance litigation, Human Rights Tribunal Applications and appeals before the License Appeal Tribunal, respecting children’s residential licensing matters and supporting CLOC/CLB counsel with litigation matters involving ministry program areas
  • advising on freedom of information and privacy issues related to the administration of ministry programs
  • negotiating and drafting contracts

Our students

MCCSS’s diverse practice areas allow students to gain experience in a large variety of fields of law, resulting in students gaining many transferrable skills. Students assist counsel on multiple projects and initiatives affecting Ontario’s most vulnerable populations, including children, people in financial need, women experiencing poverty and violence, victims of human trafficking and people with developmental disabilities. Students also have opportunities to work independently on Tribunal and Small Claims litigation and liase with counsel from Constitutional Law, Crown Law Office Civil and Legislative Counsel. 

Our students have:

  • worked on statutory and regulatory amendments
  • participated in litigation including class action lawsuits, tribunal hearings and appeals at Divisional Court and the Court of Appeal
  • provided operational and policy advice to ministry clients

Recent major files

  • Leroux v. HMQ
  • Bowman et al. v. HMQ

Key areas of law

  • administrative
  • child welfare
  • Indigenous
  • youth Justice
  • contract

Education and Colleges and Universities

Location: Toronto

Average number of articling students:  one

Average number of summer law students:  one

This office has had Law Practice Program placements.

Size of office: 20 – 40

Contact: Omar Shahab, Deputy Director at Omar.Shahab3@ontario.ca

Our work

The Ministries of Education and Colleges and Universities lead the government’s education plan. The Legal Services Branch plays a key role in supporting a wide range of activities and practices areas in the education plan and counsel. 

Counsel in our branch also work closely with colleagues in other areas such as constitutional law, civil law and legislative law, Crown Law Office – Civil and Legislative Counsel.

Our work includes:

  • assisting with policy development and the legislative process
  • conducting legal research
  • providing legal opinions and support
  • appearing before administrative tribunals
  • providing strategic and legal advice on the development and operation of programs, indicatives and policies relating to issues arising in the education sector

Our students

Our students are involved in education initiatives that are high profile and include key commitments made by the government. Students work closely with counsel and work on a wide range of practice areas.

Our students have:

  • conducted legal research and analysis
  • prepared case summaries and legal memoranda
  • developed briefing material for clients
  • drafted responses to correspondence from the public
  • performed comparative analyses of law from different jurisdictions

Recent major files

  • Canadian Federation of Students v. Ontario (Colleges and Universities), 2020 ONCA 842
  • York University v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright), 2021 SCC 32 (CanLII)

Key areas of law

  • student achievement
  • special education
  • school board and governance issues
  • funding matters
  • teacher qualifications
  • student financial assistance
  • various employment services
  • childcare
  • post-secondary institutions

Energy and Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Location: Toronto

Average number of articling students: three and one Law Practice Program

Average number of summer law students: three

Size of office: 20 – 40  

Contact: Yesica Barragan, Manager of Business Operations at Yesica.Barragan@ontario.ca

Our work

The ministries of Energy and Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Legal Services Branch provides strategic legal advice and support on program, legislative and policy development initiatives.

Our work includes:

  • implementing the government’s energy policies
  • energy sector regulations
  • funding and lending matters
  • international and domestic trade and investment law matters
  • agency oversight
  • corporate commercial and procurement matters
  • corporate governance and corporate financing
  • freedom of information and privacy issues
  • conflict of interest matters
  • duty to consult and advice on Indigenous relationships in relation to energy projects
  • business-related regulatory reduction initiatives

Specific services include:

  • legal opinions and advisory services
  • risk assessment and development of risk mitigation strategies
  • legal drafting (including legislation, regulations, orders-in-council, agreements, contracts, memoranda of understanding)
  • interpretation of instruments
  • Indigenous law advisory services
  • domestic and international litigation management and support

Our students

Students will be able to work with numerous counsel and in many practice areas. Students must be able to think critically, have excellent communications skills and professionalism. Students should also be flexible, organized and able to provide high quality legal services within short deadlines while balancing competing priorities. An ability to be collegial, collaborate effectively and take initiative when working independently is also required.

Our students have:

  • written memos and legal analysis
  • attended meetings with clients and/or other counsel
  • drafted documents such as briefing materials; presenting oral and written materials
  • helped draft legislation, regulations, orders-in-council and memoranda of understanding statutory, regulatory and contract interpretation
  • reviewed and interpreted international and domestic trade and investment agreements, supporting trade negotiations and litigation
  • negotiated, drafted and reviewed a variety of business documents and contracts for procurements, grants, loans, security, guarantees, funding and other agreements with private sector corporations, public institutions and not-for-profit corporations

Recent major files

  • creation and operationalization of Ontario’s new foreign direct investment attraction agency, Invest Ontario
  • Canada – United States Softwood Lumber Litigation
  • rural and remote broadband project: cross-ministry project to facilitate increased broadband connectivity in the province
  • Ontario Energy Board Modernization

Key areas of law

  • corporate commercial
  • energy and regulatory
  • administrative
  • trade
  • aboriginal
  • intellectual property

Environment, Conservation and Parks

Location:  Toronto

Average number of articling students:  three

Average number of summer law students:  three second year students

This office has had Law Practice Program.

Size of office: 40 – 60 lawyers and business professionals

Contact: MOE.LawStudentApplications@ontario.ca

Our work

Counsel at the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) help the ministry achieve its mandate of protecting Ontario’s air, land and water by drafting, interpreting and enforcing the province’s environmental laws.

Our work includes:

  • solicitor work in MECP’s programs and mandates, including:
    • assessment and permissions (such as, environmental assessments, renewable energy approvals and permits to take water)
    • emergency preparation
    • endangered species
    • the administration of provincial parks
  • litigating through prosecutions and administration hearings including:
    • prosecutions under MECP’s legislation in the Ontario Court of Justice
    • appeals of MECP prosecutions at all levels of courts
    • administrative hearings before the Ontario Land Tribunal
    • bankruptcy or insolvency matters related to contaminated sites

Our students

Students at MECP’s LSB receive hands-on experience by participating in three separate rotations. An assigned principal or mentor works closely with each student to ensure the experience is rewarding and provides the necessary learning and skills. 

In the solicitors rotation, our students have:

  • worked directly with Crown Counsel in all practice areas
  • interpreted and developed legislation
  • provided strategic legal advice to ministry clients
  • researched diverse and complex legal matters

In the prosecutions rotation, our student have:

  • prepared for and attended prosecutions of environmental offences with Crown counsel and on their own
  • prosecuted at least one file on their own, supervised by Counsel
  • participated in all aspects of a prosecution from the review of charges to resolution or trial

In the hearings/operations rotation, our students have:

  • helped counsel prepare for and attend administrative hearings, arbitration and potential judicial review applications and statutory appeals
  • helped the Operations Team provide strategic legal advice on matters such as inspections, abatement, spills, contaminated sites and the issuance of environmental orders

Recent major files

  • Resolute FP Canada Inc. v. Ontario (Attorney General), 2019 SCC 60
  • Greenpeace Canada v. Minister of the Environment (Ontario), 2019 ONSC 5629
  • References re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Price Act, 2021 SCC 11

Key areas of law

  • environmental law
  • Indigenous and Aboriginal law
  • administrative law
  • public law
  • provincial offences & regulatory law

Family Responsibility Office

Location: Downsview (Toronto)

Average number of articling students:  three

Average number of summer law students:  two

Size of office:  20 – 40 lawyers and business professionals

Contact: Shirley Anne Miaco, (A) Manager, Business Operations at shirleyanne.miaco@ontario.ca

Our work

The Legal Services Branch of the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) provides representation and assistance to the Director of the Family Responsibility Office. It is under the enforcement of Family Support Orders, which operates under the authority of the Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act (FRSAEA).

Our work includes:

  • providing legal advice to enforcement and administrative staff regarding the interpretation and enforceability of support provisions contained in court orders and domestic contracts
  • appearing for the Director in enforcement hearings before the OCJ and SCJ courts
  • training, instructing and supervising panel lawyers representing the Director’s Office throughout the province
  • serving on committees and providing training and policy advice regarding enforcement process and the administration of the FRO.
  • providing legal advice to the Director’s Office on related legislation, including the registration and enforcement of orders under the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act and in respect to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

Our students

The Family Responsibility Office offers an excellent articling opportunity for students interested in family law litigation. It places a strong emphasis on managing a practice in both litigation and solicitor work. Students are given the opportunity to attend court proceedings on behalf of the Director at the Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court of Justice, Family Court, where they have a unique opportunity to develop their negotiation and advocacy skills.

Our students have:

  • conducted legal research
  • drafted memoranda, facta (and other court documents)
  • taken carriage of and conducted enforcement proceedings of litigation cases on behalf of the Director

Recent major files

  • William Van Westerop v The Director Family Responsibility Office for the benefit of Nicole Van Westerop
  • Director, Family Responsibility Office for the benefit of Delia Joan Berta v Raymond Louis Berta
  • Director, Family Responsibility Office for the benefit of Melissa Christina Winter-Simonelli

Key areas of law

  • family
  • access and privacy
  • human rights
  • contracts
  • torts

Finance

Location: Toronto and Oshawa

Average number of articling students: two

Average number of summer law students: two

Size of office: 40 – 60 counsel and business professionals

Contact:

Our work

Counsel provides legal support to the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and its agencies. MOF is responsible for serving the public interest and achieving the government’s mandate by supporting a strong economic, fiscal and investment climate for Ontario.

Our branch provides advice regarding the administration of provincial legislation under the Minister of Finance. This includes advice on:

  • tax and fiscal policy
  • the administration of provincial tax (e.g. litigation and prosecutions)
  • the collection of non-tax revenue
  • securities policy and regulation, pensions policy and regulation, financial services regulation, provincial borrowing, debt management, fiscal and financial operations, electricity finance and privacy of information, among other areas

Our work includes:

  • legal documents related to the Province’s borrowing program
  • advice/opinions on provincial tax legislation and other Ministry of Finance statutes
  • litigation and prosecution to support the administration and enforcement of provincial tax statutes
  • supporting the collection of non-tax revenue
  • legal research

Our students

Articling students at MOF have an excellent opportunity to assist counsel with the broad range of law practiced in our office. The articling program allows for a degree of flexibility and can be tailored to suit the interests of the articling student. Students based in the Toronto office will have a prosecutions rotation where they will work in the Oshawa office from four to six weeks. Students based in Oshawa will have a similar rotation in the Toronto office where they will be exposed to litigation, financing and other solicitor work.

Our students have:

  • helped lawyers with domestic and international bond transactions and drafting agreements and guarantees
  • researched and drafted memoranda on various tax issues and attended briefings of senior management in relation to proposed legislative amendments
  • worked on with trial/hearing preparations and accompanied lawyers to Divisional court, or attended Provincial Offences at court or the Ontario court of Justice throughout the province

Key areas of law

  • provincial tax
  • government finance
  • financial services regulation
  • litigation and prosecutions
  • freedom of information

Recent major files

  • Ontario Budget and associated budget bills
  • issuance of Canadian dollar green bonds and other provincial borrowing transactions
  • reform of the credit union regulatory regime

Government and Consumer Services / Infrastructure

Location: Toronto

Average number of articling students: four

Average number of summer law students: N/A

This office has had LPP placements.

Size of office: 40 – 60 counsel and business professionals

Contact: Deepa Jacob, Senior Counsel at Deepa.Jacob@ontario.ca

Our work

Counsel provides legal services to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services and the Ministry of Infrastructure in a wide range of operational, program and policy areas from health cards, birth certificates, consumer protection, public safety, to government realty strategy, management and transactions.

Our students

Our team of more than 40 solicitors offers a diverse, distinct and dynamic experience for students to be involved in high profile initiatives that support key government commitments.

Our students have:

  • drafted legal documents, including contracts, tender documents and licensing agreements
  • drafted legislation, including regulations, in relation to the government's policy agenda
  • supported counsel in providing advice on transfer payment agreements, conflict of interest, government information management, procurement and copyright

Recent major files

Key areas of law

  • consumer protection and public safety law
  • corporate/commercial law including insurance law
  • access and privacy law
  • procurement, contract negotiations and contract management
  • real property law

Health and Long-Term Care

Location: Toronto and Kingston

Average number of articling students: two (Toronto office)

Average number of summer law students: two second year students, one first year Aboriginal Law Summer Student Program student

Size of office: 40 – 60 lawyers, students and business professionals

Contact: Michelle Macdonald, Senior Counsel and Chair of the Student Committee at michelle.macdonald@ontario.ca or 647-241-6088

Our work

The Legal Services Branch at the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Long-Term Care (MLTC) provides strategic legal advice on challenging, high profile issues facing the MOH and MLTC. While most of the work in our office is solicitor focused, some of our lawyers conduct administrative tribunal hearings. They also work with lawyers from the Crown Law Office – Civil and the Constitutional Law Branch on judicial reviews and civil litigation.

Our work includes:

  • Ontario public drug programs, health insurance and physician and provider payments
  • mental health and emergency health services
  • public hospital programs and independent health facility programs
  • long-term care, long-term care homes and home care services
  • regulated health professions
  • public and digital health
  • information, information technology, access and privacy
  • compliance, enforcement and procurement
  • Indigenous health policy and regulatory prosecutions

Our Students

We offer our students an unrivaled exposure to health law in Ontario and a solid foundation on which to build a long and successful legal career.

Our students have:

  • prepared legal memoranda, case summaries, presentations and briefing materials
  • drafted agreements
  • reviewed legislation and regulations, including cabinet submissions and drafted instructions

Recent major files

  • pandemic response
  • health transformation
  • modernizing long-term care

Key areas of law

  • health
  • administrative
  • corporate commercial
  • access and privacy

Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries/Seniors and Accessibility/Francophone Affairs

Location: Toronto

Average number of articling students: one

This office has had LPP placements as well as Osgoode Public Interest Requirement students.

Size of office: 10 – 20 management staff, lawyers and business professionals

Contact: Shayna Wiesenfeld, (A) Deputy Director at shayna.wiesenfeld@ontario.ca

Our work

The Legal Services Branch is responsible for providing legal advice and supporting the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries (MHSTCI), Senior and Accessibility (MSAA) and Francophone Affairs (MFA) and six government agencies: Ontario Place, Ontario Science Centre, Ontario Media Development Corporation, St. Lawrence Parks Commission, Ontario Heritage Trust and Destination Ontario.

Our work includes:

  • drafting and reviewing transfer payment agreements for various program area clients within MHSTCI, MSAA and MFA
  • drafting and reviewing procurement agreements, contracts and other legal documents for various ministry program area clients and agency clients
  • working with policy clients and legislative counsel on legislative and regulatory amendments and inputting and reviewing supporting policy submissions on behalf of ministry clients
  • providing litigation support as ministry client liaisons on litigation matters
  • providing legal advice on the legislation interpretation for which our ministries are responsible, and on other legal matters

Our Students

Students are provided with the opportunity to work on a broad variety of files with many lawyers in the branch. Students gain exposure to a wide array of areas of the law and will often work on projects from the beginning to completion.

Our students have:

  • researched and supported legal opinions on a variety of topics such as interjurisdictional research on archaeological permits in different provinces, renewal of a permit under the former Navigable Waters Protection Act, questions of statutory interpretation under the various ministries’ legislation, and whether a registered restrictive covenant constitutes property
  • researched copyright and official marks to help secure clients’ intellectual property rights
  • prepared Orders in Council and supported regulation drafts
  • reviewed applications under the Foreign Cultural Objects Immunity from Seizure Act
  • reviewed and drafted transfer payment agreements and procurement documents

Recent major files

While the work of the branch work is solicitor focused, we work with Crown Law Office (Civil) and Constitutional Law branch to support the litigation of the ministries and agencies we are involved in. Examples of recent cases include:

  • Lepofsky v. Cho, 2021 ONSC 6466
  • Reflection Productions v. Ontario Media Development Corporation, 2022 ONSC 64
  • Pandolfo v. Ontario (Tourism, Culture and Sport)
  • 2752953 ONTARIO INC. O/A Northfit and Sacha King v. Ontario (Attorney General)

Key areas of law

  • corporate/commercial
  • accessibility
  • Crown law, including Indigenous legal issues
  • administrative/regulatory
  • property law
  • real estate

Indigenous Affairs

Location: Toronto, 160 Bloor Street East

Average number of articling students: one

Average number of summer law students: one

This office has had LPP placements.

Size of office: 20 – 40 lawyers and business professionals

Contact: Anastasia Mandziuk, Counsel at Anastasia.Mandziuk@ontario.ca

Our work

The Ministry of Indigenous Affairs (IAO) leads Indigenous policy development, coordination and relationship matters, as well as negotiating and settling land claims with Indigenous partners. It manages Ontario’s and the federal government’s relationships with Indigenous communities and organizations.

Counsel works with lawyers across the government to provide advice on matters related to Indigenous peoples, Indigenous rights and assertions and policy development, with a particular emphasis on consultation issues.

Our work includes:

  • negotiating and drafting multi-party dispute resolution agreements
  • researching and providing legal advice on Indigenous policy, land claims, governance and constitutional law
  • overseeing drafting of legal documents, briefing notes and correspondence
  • briefing senior management

Our students

Our students will learn through a comprehensive experience in Aboriginal law and will work with other ministries on a range of legal issues.

Articling

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs articling students have:

  • gathered primary and secondary research sources
  • surveyed case law that impacts the practice of Aboriginal law and Indigenous issues in Ontario and Canada
  • reviewed materials and worked with counsel to identify preliminary legal research
  • provided overviews and summarized cases/decisions
  • drafted memos to counsel on legal developments

Summer law

IAO summer students receive thorough orientation including library tours, educational courses and attending land claim negotiations with lawyers. Summer law students are assigned a mentor to provide advice, direction and support.

Recent major files

  • Mikisew Cree First Nation v Canada, 2018 SCC 40
  • Manitoba Metis Federation v Canada, 2013 SCC 14
  • Tsilhqot’in Nation v British Columbia, [2014] SCC 44
  • Grassy Narrows First Nation v Ontario (Natural Resources), 2014 SCC 48
  • Haida Nation v British Columbia (Minister of Forests), 2004 SCC 73
  • R v Van der Peet, [1996] 2 SCR 507

Key areas of law

Labour, Training and Skills Development

Location: Toronto

Average number of articling students: three

Average number of summer law students: three second year students

Size of office: 47 lawyers and 23 business professionals

Contact:

Our work

The Legal Services Branch (LSB) of the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) is a centre of legal excellence that provides legal advice and litigation services to the MLTSD.

The litigation team is comprised of both Crown Counsel and Provincial Prosecutors whose work includes:

The solicitor practice team is comprised of Crown Counsel whose work includes:

  • developing legislation and regulations in MLTSD’s mandate areas
  • providing strategic legal advice to MLTSD on the interpretation, application and development of ministry and other provincial legislation, regulations, operational directives and guidelines, agency relations and governance
  • drafting transfer payment agreements/contracts, memoranda of understanding, orders in council, information sharing and regulatory collaboration agreements

Our students

Our articling students participate in formal rotations in both the litigation and solicitor practices.

Our students have:

  • prosecuted cases under Part I of the Provincial Offences Act (POA) related to violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Employment Standards Act.
  • helped Crown counsel prepare and prosecute cases under Part III of the POA dealing with violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Employment Standards Act and the Consumer Protection Act.
  • appeared before the Ontario Court of Justice to handle guilty pleas and routine court appearances on prosecutions under Part III of the POA
  • drafted facta for trial and appeal matters
  • participated in the development of legislation and regulations
  • provided research support to counsel and preparing legal memoranda

Recent major files

  • Ontario (Ministry of Labour) v. Greater Sudbury (City) (2021 – Court of Appeal for Ontario; leave to the Supreme Court of Canada granted)
  • Ontario (Ministry of Labour) v. Miller Group Inc. (2021 – Court of Appeal for Ontario)
  • Ontario (Ministry of Labour) v. New Mex Canada Inc. (2019 – Court of Appeal for Ontario)
  • Development of the Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, 2021
  • Amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 enabling paid infectious disease emergency leave entitlement for employees

Key areas of law

  • occupational health and safety
  • labour relations
  • employment standards
  • workplace safety and insurance
  • access to information & privacy
  • immigration
  • regulation of skilled trades and apprenticeships, jobs training and skills development
  • pay equity

Municipal Affairs and Housing

Location:  Toronto

Average number of articling students:  two

Size of office: 20 – 40

Contact: Marina Roberts, Manager of Business Operations at marina.roberts@ontario.ca

Our work

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) Legal Services Branch supports the ministry’s goals to build safe and strong urban and rural communities with dynamic local economies and affordable housing.

Our work includes:

  • land use planning that promotes sound infrastructure planning, environmental protection, economic development and safe communities
  • working with municipalities to provide good government and economic competitiveness
  • administering the Building Code Act, 1992 
  • administering programs that encourage the private sector to produce new affordable housing
  • promoting a competitive rental market and a cost-effective dispute resolution system

Our students

Our students have:

  • helped with legal research, writing opinions, reviewing commercial documents and drafting contracts
  • participated and assisted in prosecutions, civil litigation and tribunal hearings
  • assisted with new regulatory and legislative initiatives and drafting legislation and regulations

Recent major files

  • the Greenbelt Plan, Growth Plan, Growing the Greenbelt, amendments to the Development Charges Act, and proposed changes to the Planning Act
  • Indigenous law matters, including duty to consult issues
  • the implementation of a residential rent freeze for 2021 and a commercial eviction ban
  • implementation of changes to the Building Code Act, 1992 and the Building Code to safeguard public health and safety, promote accessibility and energy efficiency

Key areas of law

  • land use planning
  • municipal and local government
  • housing and residential tenancies
  • building regulation

Natural Resources and Forestry

Location: 99 Wellesley Street West, Room 3420, Toronto ON M7A1W3

Average number of articling students: one

Average number of summer law students: one Aboriginal Law Summer Student

Size of office: 26 lawyers and six business professionals

Contact: Demetrius Kappos, Articling Principal at demetrius.kappos@ontario.ca

Our Work

The Legal Services Branch (Natural Resources and Forestry) of the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry is engaged in litigation and provides legal advice to the Niagara Escarpment Commission, an agency of the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (MNDMNRF).

Our work includes:

  • prosecuting violations of statutes administered by the MNDMNRF and Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs statutes under the Provincial Offences Act
  • conducting appeals before the Ontario Court of Justice
  • appearing before administrative tribunals, including the Niagara Escarpment Hearing Office and the Ontario Land Tribunal
  • supporting the development of policy, regulations and legislation
  • drafting commercial and other agreements
  • supporting the Ministry in negotiations and consultations with Indigenous communities
  • providing legal advice and opinions to the Ministry

Our students

The litigation practice provides students with hands-on experience in quasi-criminal prosecutions and other litigation matters. Working with solicitors, students participate in client meetings, develop their interviewing, problem analysis and fact-gathering skills and learn how to provide advice to clients in a fast-paced environment. Students also research legal issues and draft legal memoranda.

Experience in aboriginal law and an opportunity to travel in Ontario to work in regulatory prosecutions is a component of the articling position. Students enjoy a rich and varied work experience ranging from prosecutions and litigation, to drafting, policy development and program implementation. We provide excellent legal training and help students develop a broad skill set and knowledgebase. The work environment is collegial, with lawyers that are happy to assist and provide guidance as needed.

Our students have:

  • completed jurisdictional scans
  • developed facta, statement materials and witness preparation
  • helped counsel draft amendments to resource related statutes and regulations
  • worked on litigation files, including court appearances, witness preparation, examination of witnesses and argument
  • developed negotiation skills 

Recent major files

  • Robinson Annuities
  • Urbaniak v. Niagara Escarpment Commission
  • Bilodeau v. MNDMNRF

Key areas of law

  • aboriginal law
  • fish & wildlife
  • forestry
  • public Lands
  • resources management
  • real estate

Northern Development and Mines

Location: Toronto

Average number of articling students: one

Average number of summer law students: one Aboriginal law summer student

Size of office: 10 – 20, including a Legal Director, Deputy Legal Director, 12 Legal Counsel, a Manager of Business Operations and four administrative staff

Contact: Jessica Dixon, Deputy Legal Director at Jessica.dixon@ontario.ca

Our work

The Legal Services Branch (Northern Development and Mines) of the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, provides strategic legal advice to the Northern Development, Mines and Minerals, Forest Industry and Ring of Fire divisions of the ministry providing support for its program and policy development. It also assists its agencies in fulfilling their legal responsibilities and obligations.

We are a small but collegial legal branch offering an exciting opportunity to engage in a wide range of practice areas including aboriginal law, corporate and commercial law, insolvency and bankruptcy law, natural resources law (mining and forestry), environmental law and public and regulatory law.  We aim to provide a broad and comprehensive experience for our students with an emphasis on professional development.

Our students

Students are actively involved in all areas of the branch’s work. Students can provide legal support on legislative, regulatory and policy development matters and learn how to conduct legal research and analysis relating to statutory interpretation, conflict of interest, freedom of information and the areas of law the branch cover. They draft contracts, agreements and formal legal opinions, assist counsel in the development of strategic legal advice, attend with senior counsel at client meetings and briefings and, where scheduling permits, attend court and tribunal hearings.

Articling

Our articling students have:

  • researched a wide range of topics including indigenous law, commercial law and natural resource law (mining and forestry) issues
  • drafted transfer payment agreements, loan and security documents and other contracts and memoranda of understanding
  • attended client meetings with counsel and assisted in the development of strategic legal advice
  • assisted with legal opinions and briefing notes drafts
  • assisted counsel in legislation and regulations drafts

Summer Law

Our summer students have:

  • researched a wide range of topics including indigenous law, commercial law and natural resource law (mining and forestry) issues
  • attended client meetings with counsel and assisted in the development of strategic legal advice
  • assisted with legal opinions and briefing notes, transfer payments, contracts and other agreement drafts
  • assisted in legislation and regulation drafts and interpretations

Recent major files

  • Robinson Huron Annuities Action (Restoule, et al. v. Canada & Ontario)
  • Robinson Superior Annuities Action (Whitesand FN, et al v. Canada & Ontario)
  • File No. 25969 Attawapiskat First Nation v Her Majesty the Queen in right of Ontario and Juno Corp.

Key areas of law

  • aboriginal
  • administrative
  • corporate and commercial
  • mining and natural Resources

Solicitor General

Location: Toronto and Orillia (students are based in Toronto)

Average number of articling students: three

Average number of summer law students: three second year students

Size of office: 30 lawyers, seven business professionals, three articling students and three summer law students

Contact: Bushra Munawar, Manager of Business Operations at Bushra.munawar@ontario.ca

Our work

The Ministry of the Solicitor General oversees police services in Ontario, operates provincial correctional institutions and probation and parole offices, leads the government’s anti-racism initiatives, enforces Ontario’s animal welfare laws, oversees fire protection services, conducts coroner’s investigations and inquests and leads emergency management for the province.

The Legal Services Branch provides a full range of legal services in:

  • public and administrative law
  • human rights
  • animal welfare
  • emergency management
  • freedom of information and protection of privacy
  • procurement and contracts
  • the law governing policing, correctional services and coroners

Our work includes:

  • representing ministry clients before all levels of court and administrative tribunals including the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Animal Care Review Board, the Licence Appeal Tribunal, coroners’ inquests, police misconduct proceedings, and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission
  • participating in the development of legislation and regulations
  • preparing and reviewing a wide variety of contracts and other legal documents
  • providing legal opinions and advice for their diverse client base

Our students

Articling and summer law students help counsel by conducting research and may work on urgent matters with tight timelines. Students will have carriage of Small Claims Court matters under the supervision of counsel and will do a placement with the Class Actions Legal Team. Students may also have an opportunity to do a placement as a provincial offences’ prosecutor.

Our students have:

  • helped counsel with cases at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Animal Care Review Board, the Licence Appeal Tribunal, coroners’ inquests, police misconduct proceedings and all levels of court
  • helped develop legislation, regulations and amendments
  • worked on contracts, procurements, MOUs, conflict of interest declarations, Orders in Council, operational advice
  • drafted memos, opinions, facta, pleadings and correspondence

Recent major files

Key areas of law

  • policing
  • correctional
  • human rights
  • emergency management
  • contract and commercial

Transportation

Location: Downsview (Toronto)

Average number of articling students: two

Average number of summer law students: N/A

Size of office: 20 – 30 lawyers and business professionals

Contact: Jamie Hanson, Counsel & Chair Articling Program at jamie.hanson@ontario.ca

Our work

The Legal Services Branch for the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is organized along the ministry’s core business lines of transportation safety, transportation infrastructure management, operations section and integrated policy and planning section. Counsel practice in broad areas of the law, including providing opinions on road user safety to drafting negotiation contracts. Counsel also advises on transportation law, corporate and commercial law, freedom of information and protection of privacy, construction liens, procurement law, electronic commerce and alternative service delivery.

Our students

Students will work with counsel on significant corporate and commercial issues and conduct significant research related to court matters. Counsel at (MTO) provide guidance and mentorship to students throughout their term. 

Our students have:

  • assisted in a wide variety of prosecutions and civil litigation, including Provincial Offences Act prosecutions, Superior Court, Court of Appeal, Small Claims Court, Ontario Municipal Board, Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and the Licence Appeal Tribunal
  • prepared submissions, interviewed witnesses and attended court with or on behalf of counsel
  •  issuing the claim, handling all preliminary matters and taking the matter to pre-trial and trial of several Small Claims Court matters
  • researched and provided opinions on matters relating to corporate and commercial law, procurement law, property law (including liens and expropriation), transportation law and freedom of information and protection of privacy issues
  • worked with ministry clients on new regulatory and legislative initiatives and may assist counsel in drafting legislation and regulations

 Recent major files

  • Badesha v. HMQ
  • Bothwell v. HMQ
  • R. v. Horsefield

Key areas of law

  • prosecutions and appeals
  • civil litigation
  • real estate and expropriation
  • legislative and regulatory drafting
  • commercial

Treasury Board Secretariat

Location:  Toronto

Number of articling students:  three

Number of summer law students:  two

Size of office: 40 – 60 counsel and business professionals

Contact: Henry Huang, Counsel at Henry.Huang@ontario.ca or 416-436-7901

Our work

Our team is an established centre of excellence, providing legal and strategic advice and representation through various practice groups to Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) and the government. Some of our practice groups and their work include:

  • Labour Practice Group: provides legal advice in labour relations matters, primarily by representing line ministries and some Crown agencies in litigation before private arbitrations, administrative tribunals and all levels of court.
  • Employment Law and Governance/Labour Practice Group: provides legal advice in employment, labour and pension law, executive compensation, judicial remuneration, ethical framework under Public Service of Ontario Act 2006, public law and governance matters.
  • I&IT/Ontario Digital Service Group: provides legal services to the Central Agencies I&IT Cluster and Ontario Digital Service in the areas of procurement, software licensing and freedom of information and privacy.
  • Finance Group: provides legal advice to assist TBS in the planning, expenditure management and controllership functions and the provision of strategic financial advice across the OPS, supporting the internal audit division and legal advice related to key statues such as the Auditor General Act and the Financial Administration Act. 

Our students

Students focus on management-side labour and employment law while working with all counsel in the branch. Students conduct research to support legal services and advice provided by branch counsel and receive mentorship by counsel.

Our students have:

  • worked on legal opinions on labour and employment law issues across the government
  • supported legal counsel in litigation before labour tribunals and private arbitrations and the courts
  • attended briefings with counsel and clients
  • drafted responses to Human Rights Tribunal and Ontario Labour Relations Board applications

Recent major files

  • In (OPSEU) (Morissette) v. The Crown in Right of Ontario ((MTO)) (GSB No. 2014-1093)
  • Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario v. The Crown in Right of Ontario, 2019 CanLII 22671 (ON LRB)
  • In (OPSEU) (White) v. The Crown in Right of Ontario (SOLGEN) (GSB No. 2012-0362, 2014-1733, 2016-1028, 2016-1029, 2016-2842)
  • Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association v Ontario (Education), 2017 CanLII 68670 (ON LA)
  • Ontario Public Service Employees Union v Ontario (Treasury Board Secretariat), 2017 CanLII 30341 (ON GSB)

Key areas of law

  • labour
  • employment
  • pension
  • governance
  • corporate/commercial

Policy Division

Justice Policy Branch

Location: Toronto

Average number of articling students:  one

Average number of summer law students:  zero

Size of office:  20 – 40

Contact:

Our work

The Justice Policy Branch is the Ministry of the Attorney General's (MAG) centre for strategic legal policy advice and support. We also play an integral role in managing, advising and assisting on the legislative process and the legislative agenda of the Attorney General.

We work closely with the Attorney General's office, Deputy Attorney General's office, other divisions within MAG, Cabinet Office, Ontario ministries and other governments.

Our work includes:

  • engaging in legal and policy research and analysis
  • identifying legal and policy issues, options and risks
  • developing, drafting and coordinating Cabinet submissions and reviewing Cabinet submissions from other ministries
  • liaising and consulting with the judiciary, the bar, community groups, other parts of government and a wide variety of other stakeholders
  • liaising with Cabinet Office on the government's justice agenda, policy matters and legislative developments of interest to MAG
  • interpreting legislation and regulations
  • instructing Legislative Counsel on the drafting of legislation and regulations

Our students

Students at the Justice Policy Branch have a unique opportunity to be involved in shaping public policy and the law. They work in a collegial environment on priority issues for the government and influence decision-making on a variety of topics. Students also examine topical legal issues from different points of view, resulting in a broader perspective and a deeper understanding of the issues.

Our students have:

  • conducted legal research and analysis, including caselaw, statute and inter-jurisdictional research
  • prepared briefing materials, case summaries, legal memos and correspondence
  • analyzed legal issues presented in correspondence, public and private bills and consultation processes
  • assisted in preparing Cabinet submissions and drafting instructions for legislation and regulations
  • prepared supporting materials for bills, including committee binders, compendia and communications materials
  • participated in briefings of senior staff, the Minister's Office and Cabinet Office
  • attended interministerial meetings, stakeholder meetings and public events

Recent major files

Key areas of law

  • family
  • administrative
  • civil
  • human rights
  • alcohol, gaming, and cannabis regulation
  • civilian oversight of policing

Victims and Vulnerable Persons Division

Office of the Children’s Lawyer

Location: Toronto

Average number of articling students: four

Average number of summer law students:  four second year students

Size of office:  20 – 30 lawyers and 60 – 80 staff

Contact:
Office of the Children's Lawyer
393 University Avenue, 14th Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 1E6

Our work

The Office of the Children’s Lawyer (OCL) operates as an independent law office within the Victims and Vulnerable Persons Division of the Ministry of the Attorney General. We provide legal services for children under the age of 18 years in select civil law matters.

The OCL has two major legal areas - property rights and personal rights. The property rights area focuses on civil litigation and estate and trust litigation. The personal rights area is responsible for decision-making responsibility, parenting time and contact and child protection cases.

Our work includes:

  • assisting minors in civil litigation by:
    • acting as the child’s litigation guardian
    • reviewing proposed settlements involving minors
    • representing a child in applications for guardianship of property
  • assisting in estate and trust litigation by acting for minors and unborn and unascertained beneficiaries with:
    • will challenges
    • trustee removal applications
    • encumbrances of property belonging to minors
  • assisting in parenting time, contact and decision-making responsibility cases by providing:
    • a lawyer to represent the child (generally for older children and youth) and take a position
    • a clinician to meet with the family and write a report for the court making recommendations about what is in the best interest of the child
    • both a lawyer and clinician, to take a position on behalf of the child
  • providing independent legal representation for children in protection cases

Our students

Students at the OCL office are given direct and meaning exposure to the court system to gain practical litigation experience in family law and civil litigation. Our articling and summer law students are provided on-going opportunities to shadow and participate in continuing legal education.

Articling students

Our articling students spend a rotation in both the property and personal rights areas and have:

  • drafted pleadings and other court documents
  • attended motions before Masters
  • conducted legal research
  • ascertained minors’ entitlements under a will
  • represented children in the Ontario Court of Justice (under the supervision of lawyers)
  • assisted lawyers in cases before the Superior Court of Justice
  • assist lawyers on appeals and trials
  • interview child-clients, parents and other witnesses

Summer students

Our summer law students have:

  • conducted legal research
  • drafted motion materials
  • summarized transcripts
  • reviewed and organized complex files
  • assisted counsel with preparing affidavits of documents
  • assisted counsel with preparing for trials and appeals
  • opportunities to accompany counsel to court appearances, meetings with clients and parties, settlement meetings and mediation

Recent major files

  • Office of the Children’s Lawyer v. Balev, [2018] 1 SCR 398
  • Ontario (Children's Lawyer) v. Ontario (Information and Privacy Commissioner), 2018 ONCA 559
  • In the Estate of C. E. S., deceased [2009] O.J. No. 620
  • Kenora-Patricia Child and Family Services v. M.(A.), [2004] W.D.F.L. 38, 125 A.C.W.S. (3d) 841, 45 R.F.L. (5th) 418 (O.C.J.)

Key areas of law

  • child protection
  • decision-making responsibility, parenting time and contact
  • estates and trusts
  • tort
  • guardianship

Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee

Location: Toronto, with five regional offices

Average number of articling students:  four

Average number of summer law students:  three second year students

Size of office: 30 lawyers and 100+ OPGT staff

Contact:

Our work

The Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT) is an independent office within the Ministry of Attorney General. The primary responsibility of the OPGT is to protect the rights and interests of mentally incapable adults who have no one else to act on their behalf. 

The Legal Branch of the OPGT is made of lawyers and business professionals in Client & Guardianship Services, Litigation, Corporate & Estates Services and the Charitable Property Program. Although part of the government, the OPGT advocates on behalf of its individual clients. 

Our work includes:

  • managing the property and personal care of incapable adults
  • acting as the litigation guardian or the legal representative for incapable persons involved in litigation
  • making treatment decisions on behalf of incapable individuals
  • administering estates where there is no other estate trustee
  • playing a role in safeguarding charitable property
  • performing the functions of the Accountant of the Superior Court
  • administering property that escheats to the Crown

Our students

Our students are exposed to challenging and interesting work. The environment provides them opportunities to gain a great deal of legal knowledge and experience while at the same time dealing with clientele who have intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Our students have:

  • prepared pleadings, affidavits, facta and other litigation materials
  • conducted legal research and provision of legal opinions
  • orally advocated at court and tribunal hearings
  • developed practice management and client management skills by interacting with the vulnerable population we serve and working in an interdisciplinary manner with OPGT Staff

Recent major files

  • Ontario (Public Guardian and Trustee) v. AIDS Society for Children (Ontario), [2001] O.J. No. 2170, [2001] O.T.C. 432, 39 E.T.R. (2d) 96. 105 A.C.W.S. (3d) 1044
  • Chuvalo v. Chuvalo, 2018 ONSC 311
  • Public Guardian and Trustee v. Martins, 2021 ONSC 1623

Key areas of law

  • charity
  • civil and family
  • guardianship, trusts, wills and estates
  • health and mental health
  • housing, social benefits