Clinic consultation

Tribune Explains: The McGill Legal Information Clinic

The McGill Legal Information Clinic (LICM) aims to help students with everything from accusations of plagiarism to handling disputes with owners. The McGill Tribune looked at this campus resource and all the legal issues LICM volunteers can help solve.

What is the McGill Legal Information Clinic?

The LICM is a bilingual and free legal information service. Located on the ground floor of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Building of the University Center, the LICM provides legal information to McGill students and the Montreal community. He also assists with student advocacy, such as representing students in litigation with McGill, and community services, such as organizing pop-up public legal education kiosks. The LICM team is made up of approximately 90 student advocates and advocates and six directors who manage the clinic. Although composed of McGill law students, the LICM is an independent organization.

What kinds of legal problems can LICM solve?

LICM can provide legal information on a wide range of issues, including housing, employment, immigration, municipal laws and regulations, and more. Providing legal information is different from advising. LICM social workers may explain and quote laws, but are not authorized to recommend a course of action to students. Indeed, the volunteer interveners are law students and are prohibited from providing legal advice in accordance with Article 128 of the Act respecting the Barreau du Québec.

The LICM does not handle cases relating to criminal, tax or construction law. In an email to Grandstand, LICM clarified that questions in these legal areas are complex and difficult to answer competently without obtaining specific information and giving advice. However, students can turn to Community Resources web page that lists relevant resources to address these issues.

What type of advocacy can LICM do for students?

The Student Advocacy Branch assists students in resolving formal and informal McGill-related disputes. This means everything from helping students navigate internal McGill policies, such as the Sexual Violence Policy (PSV) or the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (CSCDP), to facilitate negotiations between students and McGill or students and student associations. Student advocates may also represent students in hearings with McGill by helping students prepare evidence and supporting documents before proceedings.

LICM’s Student Advocacy Branch can also help resolve issues with academic supervisors, grievances against the university, and disciplinary matters. LICM also participated in the review of McGill policies. For example, they helped improve McGill’s PSV by reviewing it from a student-centric position in 2016 and were also consulted during its recent revisions in 2022.

What can LICM do for student groups?

Thanks to their Fair Info Program, LICM can provide McGill student groups and community organizations with free legal information in the form of presentations. These presentations can be given in English or French and can last from 30 minutes to three hours. Possible topics include most areas of Quebec law, with the exception of criminal law, tax law and construction. Although presentations are tailored to the needs of the group, social workers can only offer basic legal information.

How can students access LICM services?

Students can register for legal information by completing the LICM form form on their website. Student Advocacy Services can be accessed by making an appointment via email or telephone.

In January, June and September, LICM is also setting up pop-up legal information clinics on campus as part of their ‘Know your rights‘ country. Members of the McGill community can drop by the booth and ask LICM volunteers specific legal questions, which they will then attempt to answer immediately. Specific dates, times and locations for pop-up booths are posted on LICM’s social media accounts.

The McGill Legal Information Clinic can be reached at 514-398-6792 or [email protected]