About the clinic

Bora Laskin Clinic Course at the Faculty of Law

About The Clinic

We are a student legal clinic, staffed by an immigration lawyer who supervises second- and third-year law students at Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. We provide free legal advice, referrals and, in some cases, representation to people in Northwestern Ontario dealing with immigration, refugee or citizenship law problems. 

The Newcomer Legal Clinic has four goals: 

  1. Fill the Access to Justice Gap for Newcomers – Until now, free legal clinic services for immigration and refugee law have not been available in Northwestern Ontario. Our Clinic hopes to fill the gap and make it easier for newcomers to access the legal support they need.
  2. Build Knowledge about Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Rights and Processes in Northwestern Ontario – We plan to offer plain-language public legal education presentations online, in person, and in print, with special attention to issues that are important to newcomers and their supporters in Northwestern Ontario.
  3. Support Resettled Refugees with Entrepreneurial Goals – Northwestern Ontario is home to a growing and important resettled refugee population. We plan to develop a program to support resettled refugees by offering those who want it free business law advice.
  4. Train New Lawyers to Serve Newcomers – We hope that the students who train at our Clinic will graduate with an understanding of immigration law and of working with clients from diverse communities and with diverse language abilities. It is our hope that Northwestern Ontario’s new lawyers will graduate ready to serve the newcomer community.

Our Funding and Structure

The Newcomer Legal Clinic came into being as the result of a partnership between Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law and the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association. Our project is funded by a grant from The Law Foundation of Ontario’s Access to Justice Fund. The Law Society of Upper Canada has recognized the Newcomer Legal Clinic as a Civil Society Organization. To learn more about what it means to be a Civil Society Organization, click here.

Bora Laskin
Faculty of Law

The clinic is located at Lakehead University's Bora Laskin Faculty of Law and is staffed by law students.

Thunder Bay Multicultural Association

The clinic receives administrative support from the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association.

Law Foundation of Ontario

The clinic is funded by a grant from the Law Foundation of Ontario.

Meet the Team - 2021/2022 School Year

Jennifer Dagsvik
Clinic Director
Jennifer Dagsvik has been an immigration and refugee lawyer since 2007. Before becoming the Clinic’s director, Jennifer worked in private practice serving migrants and refugees in Thunder Bay, and before that she represented the Government of Canada in immigration and refugee cases at Federal Court. Jennifer also teaches the immigration and refugee law course at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law.
Esma Haider
3rd Year Student Clinician
Esma Haider is a third-year law student at Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. She joined the the Clinic in the summer of 2021 and will continue her hard work throughout the fall term. Esma came to the Clinic with experience working at other legal clinics where she provided public legal education, summary advice, and referrals to vulnerable populations.
Niloufar Sadroddini
3rd Year Student Clinician
Niloufar is a third-year law student at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law (BLFL). She has always been interested in immigration and refugee law and is excited to work at the clinic. Before law school, Niloufar closely worked with immigrants and refugees at a settlement service agency. Niloufar was the founder and President of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law and she currently sits as co-chair of CARL National Student Committee.
Rahemah Siddiqui
2nd Year Student Clinician
Rahemah is a second-year law student at Bora Laskin with a BA in History from the University of Toronto. She developed an interest in refugee law while working as a Legal Transcriptionist for the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. This past summer, Rahemah was a Research Assistant at the Refugee Law Lab at Osgoode Hall where she worked to improve Canada’s refugee adjudication system through legal advocacy and research.
Sharon Tathgur
3rd Year Student Clinician
Sharon is thrilled to spend her final year as a student caseworker for NLC. She has been involved in a plethora of associations and events at the law school. Sharon is an executive member of the Black Law Students Association; the Law Student Society from 2020-2021; and was a PBSC Student Volunteer in Thunder Bay. In her spare time, Sharon has been taking her talents to the tennis court as well as the soccer field to catch up with her peers.
Harleen Toor
2nd Year Student Clinician
Harleen Toor is a second-year student at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. She began working at the clinic as a summer student in 2021. Before law school, Harleen completed a double major in Criminology and Philosophy at the University of Toronto. She is passionate about human rights and access to justice. She is a member of various multicultural and diversity committees in her hometown.
Anais Giasson
3rd Year Student Clinician
Anais is a third year law student. She holds a B.Sc. in Biology and a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Winnipeg. Before law school, Anais worked at two national parks in northern Canada. She was a caseworker at Lakehead University Community Legal Services and sits on the Indigenous Law and Justice Institute Steering Committee. Anais is looking forward to supporting newcomers facing legal challenges.
Siera Hammill
3rd Year Student Clinician
Siera is a third-year student at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. Before law school, she was a primary school educator and taught for seven years in Kuwait, Lebanon and Thailand. This past summer, Siera worked as a legal advocate in Bangkok, Thailand assisting clients with their refugee status determination process through UNHCR. She is thrilled to join the team at the Newcomer Legal Clinic.
Jessi Ruberto
2nd Year Student Clinician
Jessi is a second-year student at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. Jessi will be joining [or joined] the clinic in the fall of 2021. Before law school, Jessi completed his MBA at the University of Fredericton. He is passionate about supporting newcomers to Canada in establishing themselves and building their lives in Thunder Bay.
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