Ontario Regional Office Student Program
Overview of the Program
At the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC), we view our students as future Crown counsel. Our program introduces students to the fast-paced world of criminal litigation by providing comprehensive training, mentorship, and practical experience. Our students learn by doing and actively participate in all aspects of our cases. We strive to inspire excellence and provide the support students need to become effective and respected prosecutors with the PPSC.
Our focus is on helping our students hone the skills necessary for criminal litigation: oral advocacy, persuasive writing, critical thinking and the ability to analyze and apply the law to real world cases. To that end, our student program offers a variety of enriching training experiences, including:
- Summer and Articling Student Orientation: Our week-long summer student orientation provides an overview of the work performed by the various teams in the Ontario Regional Office (ORO). In addition, we provide training on a variety of topics including the proper role of the Crown, legal developments in criminal law, and effective research and writing skills. Our abridged articling orientation builds upon this program.
- Trial Advocacy Program: We recognize that litigation is about more than research and writing. To prepare students to advocate in the courtroom, our articling students attend a weekly class focused on developing their litigation skills. Taught by PPSC counsel and guest lecturers from the defence bar and the bench, we focus on the staples of courtroom conduct and oral advocacy. The program culminates with a mock trial.
- Writing Development: Throughout their summer and articling terms, our students draft research memos and factums. PPSC counsel take the time to review the students' work and provide advice to help develop a writing style that is clear, point-first, and persuasive.
- Continuing Education: Our Crowns regularly present on a variety of topics, including recent trends and developments in criminal law. Students are encouraged to attend these seminars.
- Mentorship: Summer and articling students are paired with both junior and senior members of our office whom they can turn to for advice and help. Students may also develop informal mentorship relationships with any counsel in the office. Members of our student committee also act as mentors and are eager to help students succeed.
Immersion in Litigation
Summer and articling students at the PPSC enjoy the opportunity to work alongside experienced counsel on high-profile cases that affect the Canadian public. Students are actively involved in the preparation and litigation of criminal cases. As a student with the PPSC, you may:
- under the supervision of counsel, conduct summary conviction trials, guilty pleas, sentencing hearings, and manage a set-date court;
- assist Crowns with witness interviews, preparation of factums, and general trial/appeal preparation;
- conduct legal research;
- draft legal opinions; and
- shadow and assist counsel with bail hearings, judicial pre-trials, preliminary hearings, trials and appeals.
The PPSC's ORO is composed of multiple teams. While situated at either the Toronto or Brampton offices, our students have the opportunity to work with counsel from all of the teams. We aim to help students become familiar with criminal procedure and the daily practice of criminal law by providing opportunities to shadow prosecutors in the Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice. The various teams in the ORO are described below:
- The Toronto Team: Counsel on this team are primarily responsible for conducting all aspects of street-level drug trafficking and production prosecutions in the Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court of Justice in Toronto. Counsel also handle other routine prosecutions under various other federal statutes. Both summer and articling students will have an opportunity to work with and shadow prosecutors from the Toronto Team who conduct bail hearings, pre-trial conferences, preliminary inquiries, and trials. They may also have the opportunity to attend Drug Treatment Court.
- Regulatory Team: Counsel on this team are responsible for prosecuting cases of financial crime, primarily in relation to offences under the Income Tax Act, Excise Tax Act, Customs Act, and other federal statutes. They are also responsible for the prosecution of criminal offences concerning human smuggling, and false documentation or passport fraud under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. In addition, this team is also responsible for the prosecution of complex regulatory offences pursuant to the Canada Elections Act, Canada Labour Code, Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and the Corruption of Foreign Officials Act.
- The Integrated Road Team: Counsel on this team provide legal advice to investigative agencies and are responsible for prosecuting complex cases arising in the Greater Toronto Area. This includes wiretap investigations, large-scale drug trafficking, drug importation, organized crime and terrorism. Students can expect to assist counsel in researching case specific legal issues and assisting with trial preparation.
- Integrated Proceeds of Crime Unit: IPOC is a small group of advisory Crowns that work alongside the RCMP Financial Crime Units in London and Newmarket. Counsel provide advice to police agencies across the province and to prosecutors regarding money laundering and proceeds of crime cases, as well as the seizure, restraint and forfeiture of proceeds of crime and offence-related property.
- Brampton Regional Office: Counsel are responsible for conducting all aspects of drug prosecutions in the Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice in Brampton. As Toronto Pearson International Airport is under the jurisdiction of the Brampton Courthouse, importation cases comprise a large amount of the work performed by this team.
- Appeals: Counsel in the ORO have the opportunity to work on indictable and summary conviction appeals. Our students routinely assist with research, drafting factums, and shadowing Crown counsel in the Ontario Court of Appeal.
- Agent Supervision Unit: Counsel with the Agent Supervision Unit provide legal advice, guidance and oversight to agents who conduct prosecutions on behalf of the PPSC across Ontario to ensure compliance with PPSC Deskbook policies. Counsel on this team routinely provide advice on a variety of complex legal issues and may also conduct trials and appeals.
- General Counsel Group: The general counsel in the ORO report directly to the Chief Federal Prosecutor and handle cases of national importance. They are responsible for prosecuting all varieties of complex cases as well as appeals.
An Emphasis on Equity and Diversity
The PPSC is committed to fostering an inclusive work environment. All students, lawyers and staff are provided with Equity Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) training. Intersectionality training is also mandatory for all employees. In addition to training seminars, the PPSC's Advancement Centre for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility and the ORO's EDI Committee routinely organize events to increase awareness and promote a more inclusive workplace.
Summer students are subject to the regulations and benefits governing casual employees of the Government of Canada. Articling students are subject to the regulations and benefits governing term employees of the Government of Canada. This includes vacation leave, the availability of flexible work arrangements, ongoing professional development opportunities and a comprehensive benefits package.
How to Apply
The ORO Student Program follows the Law Society of Ontario's procedures governing the recruitment of articling and summer students.
Applications, including cover letter, résumé, law school transcripts and anticipated upper year courses may be submitted by post, email and the viRecruit Portal (www.vilawportal.com) prior to the deadline prescribed by the Law Society of Ontario.
The PPSC is committed to maintaining a workforce representative of Canadian society. In support of achieving a diversified workforce and meeting our employment equity goals, qualified candidates who self-declare in a staffing process as members of Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, visible minorities and/or women may be selected for appointment to fulfill organizational needs.
Canadian citizens and permanent residents, who have completed their first year of law school, are encouraged to apply.
Human Resources Administration Unit
- Date modified: