Common Law Section launches Summer Student Support Initiative for experiential learning

Posted on Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Common Law Section at uOttawa is pleased to announce a new Summer Student Support Initiative (SSSI). The SSSI will provide more than 50 new funded summer fellowships and research assistant positions for our students.  It will also provide new for-credit internship opportunities for students.

The SSSI is one of the ways that the Faculty is responding to the significant negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the availability of the usual summer experiential learning and employment activities for our students, with many jobs and other opportunities cancelled or postponed.  The SSSI has been made possible with the help of the Faculty and the enthusiastic support of donors, alumni, law firms, legal organizations and lawyer-supervisors. We are extremely grateful for their contributions, which total in excess of $250,000.

Students will be able to apply online for all programs through the SSSI. Selection criteria will include, as applicable, academic record, areas of interest, knowledge or skills, financial need and equity. The application process will open on April 22 and most positions will begin in May or June.

As part of the SSSI, the Faculty will also launch an Employment Law Clinic, which will provide pro bono legal information and legal advice to members of the public whose jobs have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a partnership between the Faculty and members of the Bar in Ottawa.

Support for the SSSI comes from the following funds and donors: the Vahan Kololian Graduate Scholarship, the Graduate Scholarship in Environmental Law and Sustainability (anonymous), the Nicole LaViolette Fund for Immigrant and Refugee Students in the French Common Law Program, the Shirley Greenberg Chair, the Hyman Soloway Chair and the Jay S. Hennick and Law Foundation of Ontario Common Law Endowment.

The SSSI is administered by a committee composed of Vice-Dean Penelope Simons, chair; Vice-Dean Louise Bélanger-Hardy, Suzanne Bouclin, Karine Laframboise, Danielle Lussier, Cintia Quiroga, Joanne St. Lewis, Tony Van Duzer and David Wiseman.

For more information on the SSSI or to sponsor a student for a funded fellowship or an internship for credit, email Vice-Dean Penelope Simons at

To contribute to the SSSI or to other Faculty initiatives supporting our students during the COVID-19 pandemic, email Holly Lielkalns at or Common Law Dean Adam Dodek at



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