Who We Are
PBSC is a national pro bono organization with chapters at 22 law schools across the country. Each year about 1,600 PBSC volunteers, provide approximately 140,000 hours of free legal services to over 400 organizations, courts, and tribunals across the country.
Check out the Pro Bono Students Canada website for more information about the organization!
Why We Do This
Through our program, PBSC law student volunteers are given an opportunity to enhance their legal skills by providing free legal services to individuals and communities in need in Canada.
The Benefits of Volunteering with PBSC
PBSC offers a range of practical experiences in a wide array of legal settings: PBSC law students are matched with public interest organizations, community groups, legal clinics or other legal service organizations, government agencies, pro bono lawyers and courts, and tribunals.
PBSC supports projects that interest students from all backgrounds: PBSC creates projects in many areas of the law, including administrative, civil, constitutional, corporate non-profit, criminal, environmental, family, human rights, immigration and refugee and all areas of poverty law.
PBSC serves a range of diverse Canadian populations: PBSC student volunteers have an opportunity to work with and serve diverse groups of Canadians.
Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic
Two students will assist with the Awenen Niin Identification program, which assists vulnerable population of Thunder Bay to obtain and keep their identification. These vulnerable populations require this identification to receive access to ample resources. Students’ who participate in this project will assist at the identification clinic, complete applications, gather the required information, provide referrals, meet and follow up with clients, and advocate on behalf of clients to governmental and community agencies on the issues around access to identification.
Elizabeth Fry Society of Northwestern Ontario
One student will continue the ongoing research and plain language drafting of literature surrounding incarcerated women concerning their rights as inmates, both on remand and while serving sentences. In addition to conducting research, the student will develop and deliver public legal education workshop on prison rights that will be replicated by Elizabeth Fry staff, volunteers, or other law students in the future. The student will also be invited to participate in monthly advocacy committee meetings to build their capacity for board and committee work.
Northwest Ontario Women’s Centre
One student will assist the centre’s advocacy workers in supporting and orienting clients to their legal issues. The student will work alongside workers during intakes, risk assessments, and safety planning and will have the opportunity to assist clients through court processes, referrals, and community supports. The student will be exposed to the court system and non-legal courthouse advocacy. Additionally, the student will create and update materials that are used at Public legal education seminars on the various issues of navigating the family law system.
Thunder Bay Victim Services
One student will collect legal resources, processes to navigate agencies, and supports available for victims in Thunder Bay. The student will be conducting research on the legal processes that must take place after an individual dies suddenly, in order to gather an understanding, and outline (in plain language) the steps that family members should take. The student will use this research to create resource packages that will be used for family members and other individuals accessing Victim Services, as well to other service providers within the community.
Thunder Bay and Area Injured Workers Support
Two students will conduct research on the legislation surrounding workers compensation for injured workers. Students will be analyzing the processes that take place in the different provinces across Canada to contribute to a submission to the United Nations. Students will also use the research to create plain language resources and presentations for other stakeholders and service providers within the community, such as the Chamber of Commerce.
Environment North / Canadian Environmental Law Association
Two students will work closely with Environment North and the Canadian Environmental Law Association to conduct research on select environmental topics that are important to Northern Ontario, such as water rights, community sustainability, and nuclear waste disposal sites. Students will have the opportunity to work with other local organizations, including Fort William First Nation. The students will use this research to create public legal education presentations or resource packages for stakeholders within the community.
Canadian Civil Liberties Association
One student will monitor courts in assigned areas in order to analyze legislative or court developments related to civil liberties in Canada and write accessible information for the public. The student will write one blog post per week and will publish their post on the CCLA’s RightsWatch website. Students will also participate in three to four civil liberties “intensives” over the course of the academic year, in conjunction with CCLA Talk Rights students.
Innocence Canada’s mandate is to exonerate individuals who have been convicted of a crime they did not commit and to prevent wrongful convictions through legal education and reform. To assist with this task, one student will create public education seminars or “modules” that will be used by Innocence Canada at law schools throughout the country, advocacy presentations, and at various justice sector conferences. Lakehead has been selected to create the module on Indigenous Peoples and Wrongful Convictions.
This project is only available for a 2L or 3L
Social Media and Events Coordinator
One student will work directly with the Program Coordinator to maintain and update all forms of social media. This is a low-commitment role for a student who is interested in participating in the Pro Bono Students Canada community, without the commitment of working on a project with an organization. The student will monitor and document other student’s projects and progress to showcase it online. The student will also help with event planning.
PBSC Launch Event!
To find out more about how you could get involved, the Lakehead Chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada invites you to our Launch Event on September 16th at 12:00pm in the PACI Auditorium. All are welcome!
Applications will open on September 16th at 1:00pm. Access the application here.
Facebook: Pro Bono Students Canada Lakehead Chapter