Toronto Metropolitan University
The E-Team Project_ A Teamwork Approach to Clinical Legal Educati-2-33.pdf (243.76 kB)

The E-Team Project: A Teamwork Approach to Clinical Legal Education

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-27, 15:40 authored by Hilary Evans CameronHilary Evans Cameron

In this article the author argues that the University of Toronto’s Emergency Team (ETeam)—a student pilot project created to assist people facing deportation on short notice—provided a critical service to its clients and gave its student members a unique opportunity to learn real-world legal skills. The first part of this article reviews the project’s outcomes and concludes that it was a success: the E-Team won nine of its ten cases, and its members credit the project both with teaching them crucial legal competencies that they did not encounter elsewhere and with fostering their passion for social justice law. The second and third parts analyze the E-Team’s structure, identifying the organizational principles that allowed the students to work well together and arguing that teamwork, in a context marked by urgency and high stakes, offers exceptional pedagogical opportunities. In the final section, the author suggests that while the refugee law context is unusual in many respects, the E-Team model could nonetheless be applied in other areas of law practiced in Ontario’s student legal clinics, and in particular, could be adapted to be useful in less urgent situations where the stakes are lower.