Court Experience Program

“I enjoyed learning about the case and who was involved and what the situation was. It was interesting to see the lawyers’ side of things. Every different court has a completely different atmosphere, for example Mental Health Court was more open and casual than assault court. I really enjoyed my experience and am definitely considering becoming a Crown Attorney as my future career.” – Grade 10 LAWS student

“The group of students were AWESOME. Their enjoyment of what they were doing was very obvious. I so enjoyed spending the day with the students at the office.”    Duty Counsel – Old City Hall Courthouse

Developed in partnership with the Justice of the Peace bench of the Ontario Court of Justice, LAWS’ Court Experience Program enables LAWS high school students to closely observe the duties and functions of legal professionals in a criminal justice setting.  LAWS students spend a day job-shadowing at one of five participating Toronto Ontario Court of Justice courthouses (Old City Hall, 311 Jarvis, College Park, Metro North and Metro West). Four students attend each courthouse and each is assigned to a different justice sector professional – judge, justice of the peace, assistant crown attorney, and duty counsel.

Students follow their assigned professional throughout the day, including into client meetings where appropriate, into chambers, and often sit beside them when court is in session. During breaks the pairs discuss the cases that are being heard, courtroom procedure, the roles of the different justice sector professionals, and the path tolegal careers. All four pairs eat lunch together, sharing their different experiences and perspectives. At the end of the program students write a reflection of the day and what they have learned. Students come away from the experience with a greater understanding of the justice system and the wide range of law-related careers.

Both students and members of the justice sector greatly enjoy and benefit from the rewards of the Court Experience Program.