• A Solid Foundation

    Get the skills you need to be effective in clinical law practice

  • Gain Perspective

    Understand the law from your clients' unique circumstances

  • Learn Together

    Collaborate with built-in sharing & communication tools

Our courses are open and free to everyone.
We believe that knowledge is more powerful when it's shared.


Image - Introduction to Clinical Law

Introduction to Clinical Law

An introduction of the fundamental concepts for a reflective, critical approach to clinical law practice.

Image - Interviewing and Client Counselling

Interviewing & Client Counselling

Follow a typical client interview including relationship building, fact gathering, and problem analysis.

Image - Establishing a Solicitor-Client Relationship

Establishing a Solicitor-Client Relationship

Learn how to explain a retainer, check for conflicts of interest, and ascertain whether a client is eligible for legal services.

Image - Lived Experience of Poverty

Lived Experience of Poverty

This video, reflective questions, and readings introduces insights on the law and legal practice from the lived experiences of people living in poverty.

Image - Trial Skills

Legal Research and Writing

This course includes materials on writing in a clinical law context, including professional correspondence.

Image - Trial Skills

Trial Skills

An entire criminal trial with commentary and practice tips by a Judge, Crown counsel and defence counsel.

Image - Experiential Awareness and Cultural Considerations

Experiential Awareness and Cultural Considerations

Explore how culture impacts clients' experiences of the law, lawyers, and legal systems.

Our Mission

Introduce the Skills, Knowledge and Values of Clinical Law

About the Project

Logo: Office of Open Learning, University of Windsor Using evidence based on clinicians' and students' feedback, our team began creating open source materials that allow law students to explore introductory skills, knowledge and values essential to clinical law practice. These materials are linked to digital portfolios so students can create their own understandings of clinical practice, critical reflection and professional identity formation. The materials include discussion forums, question and answer sections, and self-assessments.


In 2013, the University of Windsor funded a team led by Professor Gemma Smyth to research and create materials to strengthen clinical learning in our clinics.

We believe critical reflective practice is essential to excellence. Clinic students can create digital portfolios based on their clinical learning and practice. Each course has a set of learning outcomes that is linked to a professional portfolio.

Our Team

Gemma Smyth

Gemma Smyth is Assistant Professor and Academic Clinic Director at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law. Gemma has taught Clinic Seminar, Dispute Resolution, and Access to Justice. She manages the Clinic Practice Program and coaches moots, including Client Counseling and Mediation. Gemma researches and writes in the areas of clinic law, dispute resolution, interdisciplinarity and legal education. She is also active in the Windsor-Essex community, serving on the Collaborative Leadership Team of Pathway to Potential, the Board of the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly, and, previously, the Welcome Centre Shelter for Women and the Elder Abuse Resource and Prevention Committee. She sits on the Boards of Legal Assistance of Windsor, Community Legal Aid. Prior to joining the Faculty of Law as a professor, she was Executive Director of University of Windsor Mediation Services and a mediator for the Ontario government. Gemma’s BA is from Western, LLB from Windsor and LLM from Osgoode Hall. She is a Chartered Mediator with the ADR Institute of Canada. She lives in Windsor with her partner, two daughters and two dogs.

Photo: Kim Nelson

Kim Nelson

Kim Nelson is an Associate Professor of Cinema Arts in the School of Creative Arts at the University of Windsor. She is a filmmaker/screenwriter/editor, originally from Vancouver. Her films deal with social issues and historical perspective and have screened at film festivals across Canada and the U.S. She is currently at work on three film projects with funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Ontario Arts Council, the University of Windsor’s Women’s Initiative Grant and The Windsor Endowment for the Arts. She spent the 2012-13 academic year in Berlin as a DAAD fellow, teaching at The University of Film and Television “Konrad Wolf” in Potsdam, Germany and was the 2013-2014 Humanities Fellow of the Humanities Research Group at the University of Windsor. She is a current board member of the Windsor International Film Festival and Media City. She lives in Windsor with her husband, son and two daughters, and an overworked Italian espresso machine.

Photo: Svjetlana Oppen

Svjetlana Oppen

Svjetlana Oppen (B.Sc .Computer Science (Windsor), B.A.(Hon) Communication Media and Film (2014)) is President of the Board of Directors for Stagehouse Multimedia, a Not-For-Profit she founded to aid community organizations and other NFP’s to tell their stories, promote their events and be seen and heard through various forms of multimedia. With Stagehouse, Svjetlana has produced videos and films for such local organizations as The Windsor Youth Centre, Windsor Regional Cancer Centre, and Windsor Women Working With Immigrant Women. Svjetlana is an is an award-winning filmmaker affiliated with Rollin’ On Detroit, a Michigan film company, where she is DOP on the production of MyTown Miracles: The Les Ward Story. Svjetlana is also DOP for OMS Entertainment, currently filming a music related documentary film entitled 4 On The Floor. Other areas of expertise include lighting, wedding videography, music video production, and other commercial shoots. She has been accepted into the University of Windsor's Advanced Film Program.

Photo: Ian Boufford

Ian Boufford

A fourth year student in the University of Windsor's Honors in Communication, Media, and Film program, Ian has been working in film production for about a decade. Ian is a collaborative, responsive and passionate filmmaker and director skilled at building a reliable team.

Shawna Labadie

Shawna Labadie is currently a third year law student at the University of Windsor where she graduated from the Bachelor of Social Work program in June 2011. Shawna has an strong interest in family law, civil litigation, and community clinic work. Shawna has engaged in credit placements and paid employment at Legal Assistance of Windsor as both a social work student and law student. During the summer 2013 Shawna completed a volunteer family law clerkship at the Ontario Provincial Court of Justice, and has accepted 2014-2015 articles with Greg Monforton and Partners.

Photo: Jessica Hoffman

Jessica Hoffman

Jessica Hoffman is a third year Communications, Media, and Film major at the University of Windsor. She has worked on several different student films as a Producer, Director, and Editor. Jessica hopes to specialize in film editing and one day work for a large production company within Canada or the US.

Photo: Alyssa Silvaggi

Alyssa Silvaggi

Alyssa Silvaggi is a third year law student in the Dual JD Program at the University of Windsor and University of Detroit Mercy. Alyssa completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Windsor, with Honours in Forensic Science and Criminology. She is an active member of Windsor Law. She has been volunteering at Community Legal Aid for three years, currently holding the position of Complex Case Litigation Support Specialist. In this position she achieved two notable successes, namely a not guilty verdict in a drug possession case after successfully challenging an unreasonable search, and a published decision resulting from arguing a novel area of criminal law. She received the Justice Saul Nosenchuk Social Justice Fellowship in Criminal Law and interned at the Miami-Dade County Public Defender’s Office in 2013. She will be representing Windsor law in the Canada-wide Gale Cup moot in February 2014.

Photo: Maria Cusumano

Maria Cusumano

An award winning filmmaker, playwright and screenwriter, Maria Cusumano is a recent graduate of the University of Windsor with a specialization in Advanced Filmmaking. Passionate about storytelling, performance and collaboration, Maria has been writing, filming, and editing video for seven years. She works as Production Manager and Video Editor at Black Umbrella Productions on various commercial productions.