An Ode to Osgoode’s Investor Protection Clinic

As  an Osgoode Hall Alumna who works for a firm with even stronger ties to the school it is a joy to see that the Osgoode Investor Protection Clinic (“Osgoode IPC”) has been in the news recently with regards to their services being sponsored by the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (“MFDA”).

The MFDA is Canada’s regulatory body for mutual fund dealers and oversees the distribution of mutual funds nationally. Their mandate is to protect investors and public interest and faith more broadly.

Osgoode’s Investor Protection Clinic has been the first of its kind in Canada since its inception in 2016. The clinic assists individuals who feel like their investments have been mistreated but are unable to afford a lawyer. They also conduct valuable research and develop education programs for present and future investors.

In addition to its public service function, the Osgoode IPC also provides an invaluable service to the students of Osgoode Hall Law School. As an optional part of its curriculum, the clinic enables Juris Doctor candidates to participate in the clinic for credits, under the supervision of Professor Poonam Puri and Adjunct Professor Brigitte Catellier.

Students are able to gain first-hand practical experience through assisting lawyers from business law firms on cases. Through this they obtain knowledge in Canadian corporate and securities law. Some students are even hired for paid summer positions.

With the current economic climate from Covid-19 and other factors, the demand for legal assistance for wronged investors has grown substantially over the last few years. Due to the growing demand and necessity of the program, the MFDA has made a two year financial pledge to the Osgoode IPC to expand its reach at a critical time of financial hardship for many individuals.

In addition to the pandemic, market volatility has also driven and tripled the demand for services provided by the clinic. Investor education during these times is vital to prevent high-risk investments.

The financial commitments from the MFDA will surely be a welcome relief to the program and clients desperately in need of their services. Additionally, it will enable the clinic to continue providing education and employment opportunities to law students.

If you are or know a student at Osgoode Hall Law School I strongly urge you to look in to/mention the opportunities offered at the Osgoode Investor Protection Clinic in downtown Toronto!

Maria M. Grubisic, Associate Lawyer