Pro Bono Students Canada

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. 

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 volunteer has an opportunity to work with and serve diverse groups of Canadians.

2017/2018 Placements

Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic

Two students will assist with the Awenen Niin Identification Program, which assists vulnerable populations in Thunder Bay obtain and keep identification. Students’ duties would include completing ID applications, gathering the required information, following up with clients, providing appropriate referrals, and advocating to governmental and community agencies around access to ID.

Elizabeth Fry Society of Northwestern Ontario

One student will conduct research and plain language drafting of literature for incarcerated women concerning their rights as inmates. In addition, the student will develop and deliver public legal education workshops on prison rights that could be replicated by Elizabeth Fry staff, volunteers or other law students in the future.

Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre

One student will develop a training portfolio for the Justice Division which will be used by the student to educate TBIFC staff and Indigenous Peoples’ Court (IPC) volunteer Elders. This training portfolio will include:

  • descriptions of new case law, in plain language, that is relevant to Justice Division Programs;
  • background information on Indigenous justice principles and Gladue courts;
  • plain language guides on basic legal rights for TBIFC clients; and
  • plain language guides on access to justice services within Thunder Bay relevant to TBIFC clients such as Legal Aid.

Canadian Civil Liberties Association

One to two students will monitor courts in assigned areas, identify civil liberties issue(s) in Canada and write accessible information for the public. The student(s) 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.

METRAC Action on Violence

One student will help develop written legal information materials to support METRAC’s work. The assignments will include research, writing and editing resources on legal topics that would be of assistance to survivors of gender-based violence, including intimate partner abuse. This year’s project will focus exclusively on law that deals with housing and tenancy law with a focus on issues that may affect women experiencing violence.

Application Form

Download our application here

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Facebook: Pro Bono Students Canada Lakehead Chapter

Twitter: @PBSCLakehead

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