Ministry of Education and Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Office Snapshot

  • Location: Toronto
  • Lawyers: 13
  • Articling Students: 0
  • Summer Law Students: 1
  • Types of Law: Aboriginal, Access & Privacy, Administrative, Civil, Constitutional, Contract, Corporate Governance, Education, Human Rights, Labour & Employment, Pensions

Who we are

The Ministries of Education and Training, Colleges and Universities are at the forefront of the government education agenda. The Legal Services Branch plays an integral part in supporting that agenda and counsel work in a wide range of practice areas in support of the Ministries’ activities. 

In addition to ministry clients, counsel in our branch work closely with the Constitutional Law Branch, Crown Law Office – Civil, and Legislative Counsel.

What we do

The type of work varies from assisting with policy development and the legislative process, to engaging in legal research and providing opinions, to providing extensive litigation support and appearing before administrative tribunals.

We also provide strategic and legal advice concerning the development and operation of programs, initiatives and policies, in relation to issues arising in the education sector, including: 

  • Student achievement
  • Special education
  • School board and governance issues
  • Funding matters
  • Teacher qualifications
  • Apprenticeship and training
  • Student financial assistance
  • Various employment services
  • Post-secondary educational institutions.   

In addition to education law, we:

  • Advise on aboriginal issues, including the duty to consult
  • Provide extensive advice on administrative law issues
  • Advise on issues relating to the Environmental Bill of Rights
  • Assist with and advise on complex procurement transactions, including contracts and transfer payments
  • Advise on freedom of information and protection of privacy issues, as well as handling proceedings arising in this area.

Our major cases

We are at the forefront of one of the government’s key commitments – its education agenda.  In this regard, we have assisted with policy development, the drafting of Cabinet Submissions, and provided instructions to Legislative Counsel.  These efforts by counsel have resulted in the introduction of a considerable number of Bills, including:

  • Healthy Food for Healthy Schools Act, 2008
  • Colleges Collective Bargaining Amendment Act
  • Education Amendment Act (Keeping our Kids Safe at School), 2009
  • Ontario Labour Mobility Act, 2009
  • Student Achievement and School Board Governance Act, 2009
  • Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009

In addition to the Bills, we worked towards furthering the government’s legislative objective through a number of new and amended Regulations.

What students do

Students work closely with counsel in our office and are involved in a wide range of practice areas that include contact with ministry clients.  Students are engaged in:

  • Legal research and analysis
  • Preparing case summaries and legal memoranda
  • Working on briefing materials for clients
  • Drafting responses to correspondence from the public
  • Comparative analyses of law from different jurisdictions.

Efforts are also made to ensure students have the chance to attend hearings with counsel, particularly when the student has carried out work on the case.

Why choose us

Students chosen to work in the Legal Services Branch have the opportunity to be involved in education initiatives that are high profile and comprise key commitments made by the government.  Students will work in a collegial office where counsel are approachable and committed to ensuring that each student is exposed to a variety of experiences, both in terms of the practice area and the type of legal work that is being carried out.

Contact us

Esther Ferreras
Coordinator, Branch Administrative Services
Esther.Ferreras@ontario.ca
416-325-2406