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.

2018/2019 Placements

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 and will 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. 

Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre

One Student will develop a portfolio for the Justice Division which will be used by the student to educate TBIFC staff and stakeholders. The training portfolio will include: 

  • Tailored research into analyzing the current process of the Gladue program at TBIFC
  • Research on Gladue resources, processes, and restorative justice best practices. 

 The student will compile the research and create a resource guide and portfolio that will be

used and replicated by TBIFC staff in the future. 

Northwest Ontario Women’s Centre 

One Student will assist the centre’s advocacy workers in supporting and orienting clients to their legal issues. Students 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 

 Two Students will collect legal resources, processes to navigate agencies, and supports available for victims in Thunder Bay. One student will be conducting this research on elder abuse and domestic violence resources, and the other will be conducting research on human trafficking and resources for Indigenous victims.  The students will be asked to research new legislation in these fields, gather an understanding, and outline (in plain language) the processes to navigate these supports for victims. Students will then be asked to create a public education presentation on their assigned topic and present to various committees that work with Thunder Bay Victims Services. 

 

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.

Legal Line 

Two students will review the eight Aboriginal law related questions currently appearing on Legalline.ca for accuracy (Nation and Band Membership; Nation and Band Housing; Child protection; Hunting, Fishing and trapping rights; Land claims; First Nation taxation; Economic development on First Nations lands; Sentencing of First Nations Persons in the criminal justice system). Students will propose revisions where the information is out-of-date or incomplete. Additionally, based on their research into Indigenous legal issues, students also propose additional questions/answers to include in the Aboriginal Law section of Legalline.ca

 This project is only available for a 2L or 3L

Innocence Canada

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

Application Form

Download our application here: 

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