Information for students


The Indigenous Community Legal Clinic, or Law 488/489, is a full term course comprised of 15 credits, 11 that are based on the practical component and 4 that are based on the academic component of the program. The practical component is based on a pass/fail evaluation of significant practice achievements during the term, and the academic component is comprised in weekly journaling, and participation in discussions based on the weekly readings and attendance at lectures (including mandatory attendance at the New Westminster First Nations Court on the Thursdays that court is scheduled throughout the term), and graded term paper written and composed based on independent research and critical reflection on the experiential learning at the Clinic and our discussions during lectures throughout the term.

Students commit to one full term, which they spend primarily at our location on Alexander St. in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Students cannot take other courses during the term, except in special circumstances with permission from the Director and Supervising Lawyer. There is a limit of 6 students per term, and they are temporarily articled to practice under the Law Society Rules. We have one lecture a week held at the Allard School of Law.

The clinical learning environment is unique in many ways, and the pedagogy is designed to interweave experiential learning about the practice of law in a small firm setting with learning to apply ideas and theory to that practice, with an emphasis on the circumstances of Indigenous people, relationships, and the law.


Open to 7 upper year law students per term who have completed Law 476: Evidence. The deadline to apply is March 1 for the following Winter session (both Fall and Spring terms), and February 1 for the Summer Session.


The Clinical Program is 15 credits. Students are not enrolled in other Law courses while registered in the ICLC. Each student will be required to complete a term paper that will be graded for 4 credits. The balance of the evaluation will be on a pass/fail basis and is based on ongoing supervision of casework and participation in Clinic classes.

Application Process

Students interested in participating in the Indigenous Community Legal Clinic program must submit a cover letter, résumé and transcripts to Professor Patricia Barkaskas at by March 1st, for both the summer term and the fall/spring terms. Transcripts will be reviewed to provide information about courses completed and areas of interest, rather than specifically for marks.

Please be sure to include the following information in your cover letter:

- Why you are interested in the ICLC program and working with Indigenous peoples?

- Any special areas of interest in the areas of legal assistance the ICLC provides to clients (i.e. Aboriginal, administrative, civil, criminal, family law and/or wills & estates, etc.)

- Any background factors or experiences that have contributed to your interest in participating in the ICLC program

- Are you interested in participating in the Travelling Clinic and providing summary advice and legal assistance to Indigenous clients outside of the Lower Mainland?

- Have you completed the pre-requisite and what other courses have you completed that you feel will assist you in your work at the ICLC? If you have not yet completed Evidence you are required to note this and indicate when you intend to complete it.

- Preference as to term and if you are unable to participate in a specific term, please indicate that clearly and provide reasons why this is the case