Current Projects 2018-2019

Canadian Civil Liberties Association: Rights Watch

Description:

Rights Watch is on on-line platform dedicated to promoting awareness and dialogue about rights and freedoms in Canada. PBSC volunteers on the CCLA/PBSC Rights Watch project have the opportunity to produce original and timely content and analysis, and engage with leading experts and other law students dedicated to promoting civil liberties.

There are three distinct aspects of the Rights Watch project:

  • Students’ primary responsibility will be to monitor an assigned area (e.g., courts in Ontario; legislature in Quebec; US Supreme Court, etc.) in order to identify and analyze legislative and/or court developments related to civil liberties. Based on their research and analysis, the students will produce blog posts for the Rights Watch webpage.
  • CCLA will organize four civil liberties “intensives” over the course of the academic year — webinar style sessions where the students can will learn about timely civil liberties issues and advocacy strategies. During these online sessions, students will have exclusive access to leading practitioners on different civil liberties topics. Each session is approximately one hour in length. Students are required to attend at least three of the four sessions over the course of the year. Efforts will be made to accommodate students’ schedules.
  • In order to promote widespread understanding of and engagement with civil liberties issues in Canada, students will post to social media (i.e., twitter, Instagram, Facebook) about the monitoring, research and analysis they are doing. The original blog posts produced by the students will be promoted through social media and the students may engage with commenters. Students are requested to post to social media once or twice per week to contribute to dynamic and interactive engagement on right issues.

Type of Project: Research/ Writing

Area of Law: Human Rights Law

Where will you be Volunteering: Remotely

How Many Students? One

Prerequisites / Assets: Bilingualism is an asset, but not required

Who Can Apply? 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls

Link to Organization: https://ccla.org/


Canadian Environmental Law Association Project

Description:

The student will be assisting with research on environmental law litigation or law reform initiatives, in CELA’s priority areas:

  • Access to environmental justice
  • Water sustainability
  • Pollution and health
  • Green energy
  • Planning and sustainability
  • Acting globally

Type of Project: Research/ Writing

Area of Law: Environmental Law

Where Will You Be Volunteering: Remotely, but you also have an option to attend the office at:

55 University Avenue, Suite 1500, Toronto, ON M5J 2H7

How Many Students? One

Prerequisites / Assets:

  • Administrative law is a prerequisite (either completed or in-progress)
  • Environmental law or comparable courses are an asset, but not required

Who Can Apply: 3Ls

Link to Organization: http://www.cela.ca/


East Village Animal Hospital Policy Proposal

Description:

The East Village Animal Hospitals (EVAHs) in London and Kitchener both house ‘High Volume Spay/Neuter Clinics’ dedicated to providing comprehensive preventative medicine services, including spay/neuter/vaccination/micro-chipping/anti-parasite treatments.  The hospitals also provide general out-patient medical & surgical services.  All clients are low-income individuals, animal rescue groups, humane societies and municipal shelters throughout Ontario.  Both EVAHs are unofficially designated and run as non-profit corporations.

Students will work with staff at the East Village Animal Hospital to create a policy proposal, and present it to area MPPs, concerning reform to certain provisions in the Ontario Business Corporations Act that would allow a Registered Charity to own and operate a veterinary hospital in Ontario.

Type of Project: Research / Writing

Area of Law: Corporate/ Non-Profit Law

Where Will You Be Volunteering? Remotely

How Many Students? Two

Prerequisites / Assets:

Familiarity with the OBCA and experience writing policy proposals are assets, but not required.

Who Can Apply? 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls

Link to Organization: https://evah.ca/


Legal Line Online Legal Info Project

Description:

Students will assist Legal Line by helping to research, write and review legal information, which currently is available on Legalline.ca.  The lawyer supervisor will prepare a general set of instructions (work plan/flow) for each separate task. Students will be able to select the area of law they would like to focus on from several choices provided by Legal Line.

Students are encouraged to work collaboratively with the other student volunteers.

Type of Project: Research / Writing

Area of Law: Varies, depending on student interest

Where Will You Be Volunteering? Remotely

How Many Students? Two

Prerequisites / Assets: None

Who Can Apply? 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls

Link to Organization: https://www.legalline.ca/


Innocence Canada Project

Description:

Innocence Canada offers rights-based public legal education (PLE) workshops on numerous topics, including wrongful convictions. Students will have the opportunity to create PLE modules that will be used to educate future law students and members of the community. Volunteers will be provided templates and choose on one of the following topics and create a module:

  • Forensic Evidence
  • Eyewitness Identification
  • Big Sting Operations
  • Role of the Crown
  • Vetrovec Witnesses
  • Mental Health & Wrongful Convictions
  • Race & Wrongful Convictions

If students create their module ahead of schedule, they will be invited to choose another topic from the remaining options.

Type of Project: Research / Writing

Area of Law: Criminal Law

Where Will You Be Volunteering? Remotely

How Many Students? One

Prerequisites / Assets:

  • Prerequisites – Criminal Law, Evidence, Criminal Procedure
  • Assets – Course work in wrongful convictions

Who Can Apply? 2Ls, 3Ls

Link to Organization: http://www.innocencecanada.com/


Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants Project

Description:

OCASI aids newcomers to Canada in their transitions during the immigration period. The settlement.org monitored chat works to answer questions with well-researched legal information. Students will aid in answering questions regarding employment issues, housing issues, and consumer protection issues, as well as in making competent referrals to lawyers and services offline in order to deal with legal problems.

Students will conduct research into questions asked by those experiencing issues as a result of the immigration process – and will help draft legally informative answers in the form of memos.

Students will be given directions from OCASI staff and draft memos based on questions asked in an online forum.

Type of Project: Research / Writing

Area of Law: Immigration Law, Employment Law, Housing Law, Consumer Protection Issues

Where Will You Be Volunteering? Remotely

How Many Students? Two

Prerequisites / Assets? N/A

Who Can Apply? 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls

Link to Organization: http://ocasi.org/


Parkinson Society Research Project

Description:

The student will assist Parkinson Society of Southwestern Ontario by conducting a review of the PSSO internal by-laws to ensure they are compliant with the Human Rights Act, Employment Standards Act and the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act.

The student will produce a research memorandum highlighting any aspects of the PSSO’s by-laws that conflict with the above-mentioned pieces of legislation or any new by-laws that should be introduced.

The students will be provided a template of a previous by-law review as a starting point for their research.

Type of Project: Research / Writing

Area of Law: Corporate / Non-Profit Law

Where Will You Be Volunteering? Remotely

How Many Students? Two

Prerequisites / Assets:

Familiarity with not-for-profits, human rights legislation and/ or corporate law would be an asset, but not required.

Who Can Apply? 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls

Link to Organization: https://parkinsonsociety.ca/


United Nations Special Rapporteur Project

Description:

In May 2016, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council appointed Professor Michael Lynk as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967, UN Special Rapporteurs act independently of governments and the United Nations and are mandated to examine, monitor, advice and publicly report on human rights violations.

The student will be expected to conduct research on international human rights and humanitarian law and its application with respect to the Middle East conflict. The student’s work will assist Professor Michael Lynk in producing informative and high-quality reports for the United Nations Human Rights Council and the United Nations General Assembly.

Note: This project requires an interview which will be conducted by Professor Lynk.

Type of Project: Research / Writing

Area of Law: Human Rights / International Law

Where Will You Be Volunteering? Remotely

How Many Students? Two

Prerequisites/ Assets:

Preference will be given to students with considerable familiarity with international relations, and a strong interest in public international law and human rights.

Completion of public international law and/or human rights law courses will be considered an asset – but are not required.

Who Can Apply? 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls

Link to Organization: https://www.ohchr.org/en/hrbodies/sp/countriesmandates/ps/pages/srpalestine.aspx


Community Workshops Project

Description:

Community Legal Services’ Community Workshops are interactive seminars that aim to educate and empower participants. The Workshops are delivered through partnerships with various community organizations in London and reach diverse segments of London’s population. The Workshops focus on commonly encountered legal issues, and range in topic from consumer protection issues to housing issues to criminal law. Community organizations are able to choose workshops that they believe will be topical for the organization’s specific client-base.

Students on this project will be responsible for presenting these workshops. Scripts and handouts will be provided to students at least 2 days prior to the presentation date. The Workshops focus on interaction, and presenters should be sure to encourage dialogue and questions. The Workshops usually run between 1-2 hours in length. Each student will be expected to present 3-4 Workshops each semester.

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Varies, with a focus on access to justice issues

Where Will You Be Volunteering? At various community partners in the London-area.

How Many Students? Six

Prerequisites / Assets:

Interest in access to justice issues.

Who Can Apply? 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls

Link to Organization: https://law.uwo.ca/legal_clinics/community_legal_services/public_legal_education.html


Elgin-Oxford Legal Clinic Project

Description:

The Elgin-Oxford Legal Clinic (EOLC) provides poverty law services to low-income residents of Elgin and Oxford Counties. EOLC provides summary legal advice and represents clients before courts or tribunals in the areas of: Landlord-Tenant Disputes, Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program, Canada Pension Plan, some employment law issues and criminal injuries compensation.

EOLC is looking for 12 students to work one half day per week for the duration of the school year (excludes exam periods). Students can expect to work with lawyer-mentors on traditional casework, summary advice, public legal education, law reform, and community development activities. EOLC is especially interested in allowing students to have meaningful client contact and helping them develop effective advocacy skills. The externship will be on-site at the EOLC’s main office in St. Thomas, Ontario. Selected students will be expected to arrange their own transportation to and from the clinic for the year.

Note: Interviews will be conducted by staff at EOLC.

Type of Project: Public Legal Education, Advocacy, Client Assistance

Area of Law: Tenancy Law, Employment Law, Criminal Law, Poverty Law,

Where Will You Be Volunteering? Students will attend EOLC for regular shifts at 98 Centre Street, St. Thomas, Ontario, N5R 2Z7

How Many Students? Twelve

Prerequisites / Assets: None

Who Can Apply? 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls

Link to Organization: http://www.eolc.ca/


Family Court Support Project

Description:

One student will be selected to assist a Family Court Support Worker at the London courthouse. The Family Court Support Program is a program within the Ministry of the Attorney General that offers direct support to female and male victims of domestic violence or abuse going through the family court system.

The student will complete the following tasks: provide information about family law procedures and processes; assist in recording the history of abuse for court documentation; assist in safety planning related to court attendances; assist in debriefing of lawyers appointments and court outcomes; attend Family Law Information Centre meetings with duty counsel; accompany parties to family court proceedings; and provide assistance through the legal process, and information in accessing Legal Aid and other community supports.  The student will not provide legal advice or assistance with pleadings – but will be exposed to the court system and non-legal courthouse advocacy.

Type of Project: Client Assistance

Area of Law: Family Law

Where Will You Be Volunteering? Students will volunteer at the Downtown London Courthouse at 80 Dundas Street.

How Many Students? One

Prerequisites / Assets:

The ideal student will have a very flexible schedule. Students are free to pursue as many of the above tasks as they wish, but a flexible schedule will allow a student to fully pursue every opportunity. Preference is given to an upper-year student who also has a knowledge of the French language (although not required).

Who Can Apply? 2Ls, 3Ls

Link to Organization:

https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/ovss/family_court_support_worker_program/ 


Huron Perth Legal Clinic Project

Description:

The Huron Perth legal Clinic (HPLC) provides a variety of legal services to low-income residents of Huron Perth County. HPLC provides summary legal advice and represents clients before courts or tribunals in the areas of: Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program, Employment Insurance, Landlord and Tenant matters, Criminal Injuries Compensation, Canada Pension Plan, and Powers of Attorney.

HPLC is looking for one student to work with lawyer-mentors on traditional casework, summary advice, public legal education, law reform, and community development activities.

Type of Project: Public Legal Education, Client Assistance, Advocacy

Area of Law: Poverty Law, Employment Law, Housing Law, Criminal Law

Where Will You Be Volunteering? The project will be on-site at the HPLC’s main office at 59 Lorne Ave E, Stratford, ON N5A 6S4.

How Many Students? One

Prerequisites / Assets:

Completion of either Civil Procedure and/or Administrative Law would be an asset – but are not required.

Who Can Apply: 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls

Link to Organization: http://www.huronperthlegalclinic.ca/


ID Project

Description:

Possessing valid or government issued photo identification is a necessity of modern day life.  Although losing identification documents is only an inconvenience for some, for others this loss can mean being denied access to vital services.

Without official identification many people cannot access the majority of the vital community services and programs available. It is important to know not everyone who seeks help through the ID Project is homeless or marginally housed but many have been at some point in their lives. Pro Bono lawyers will be serving more than meals at the Lawyers Feed the Hungry program in London. Lawyers working in the London area, London Lawyers Feed the Hungry (LLFH), Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC), and Community Legal Services (CLS) are partnering to help the homeless and precariously housed replace lost or stolen government issued personal identification and provide referrals to local legal services.

Every month, Pro Bono lawyers and law students will be holding duty hours for the ID Clinic & Legal Referral Services Duty Hours within the LLFH hospitality meal service at St. Paul’s Cathedral located at 472 Richmond Street. They will interview individuals, assess their legal issues, and help them complete applications to replace missing birth certificates, Ontario Photo Cards and Social Insurance Number certificates.

Type of Project: Client Assistance

Area of Law: Administrative Law

Where Will You Be Volunteering? St. Paul’s Cathedral located at 472 Richmond Street, London, Ontario.

How Many Students? Four

Prerequisites / Assets:

Ability to speak French fluently would be an asset – but is not required.

Who Can Apply? 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls

Link to Organization: http://www.lawyersfeedthehungry.ca/london.html


LIFE*SPIN PLE Project

Description:

LIFE*SPIN stands for Low Income Family Empowerment*Sole-Support Parent Information Network.

LIFE*SPIN is one of the longest established and most respected Community Economic Development (CED) organizations serving low-income citizens in Ontario. The mission of LIFE*SPIN is to provide information and support for individuals surviving on low-incomes, and to support the empowerment and self-development of these individuals in their efforts to attain self-sufficiency.

The students will create and present public legal education workshops on Wills, Estates, Probate, Living Wills, and Power of Attorney on a monthly basis at LIFE*SPIN.

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Wills & Estate Law

Where Will You Be Volunteering? LIFE*SPIN office is located at 866 A Dundas St, P.O Box 2801, London ON, N6A 4H4.

How Many Students? Two

Prerequisites / Assets:

Course work in Wills be considered an asset – but is not required.

Who Can Apply? 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls

Link to Organization: https://lifespin-org.doodlekit.com/


N’Amerind Friendship Centre’s Gladue Writer Program

Description:

The N’Amerind Friendship Centre is a non-profit organization committed to the promotion of physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual well-being of Native People. The N’Amerind Friendship Centre’s Gladue Writer Program seeks to advocate on behalf of Indigenous people within the criminal justice system

To create Gladue reports, the student Gladue writer will interview the individual before the court, as well as his or her family members, community members, elders, social service agency providers and any others who are or have been involved with the individual that is before the court. The students will be accompanied by the Gladue writer at all times for at-home visits or on-site interviews. The student will then write the report under the supervision of an experienced Gladue writer and a qualified lawyer supervisor, and will have the opportunity to observe Gladue court for these reports.

The students will have to take an in depth look at the offenders’ background in terms of generic factors related to the history of Aboriginal people in Canada (Ontario), and specific circumstances of these individuals. The students will explore how the offenders came to be in the situation they find themselves at the time. The students should strive to encourage the court to consider all other viable options other than incarceration to address the well-being and healing of the person before the court, which may also support the wellness of all Indigenous people.

Note: The student must be available to attend Gladue court on Thursdays from 10am –1pm, upon request.

Type of Project: Client Assistance, Research / Writing, Advocacy

Area of Law: Aboriginal Law, Criminal Law

Where Will You Be Volunteering? Most work will be conducted remotely. However, students will also be expected to attend Gladue Court periodically.

How Many Students? One

Prerequisites / Assets:

Students must have some knowledge or be interested in learning about Aboriginal culture and the systemic issues of Aboriginals within the criminal justice system.

Who Can Apply? 2Ls, 3Ls

Link to Organization: http://www.namerind.on.ca/programs/gladue-writer-program/


Neighbourhood Legal Services Project

Description:

Neighbourhood Legal Services is a local Legal Aid Ontario clinic providing representation, public legal education, law reform and community development services to low income individuals and groups within the London area. NLS focuses on issues regarding Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support program benefits, Canada Pension Plan, Landlord and Tenant Law and Employment Insurance Benefits.

Students will draft research memos, conduct intakes at the clinic, and work with clinic lawyers on files.

Note: Students will be expected to attend Neighbourhood Legal Services for regular shifts.

Type of Project: Client Assistance, Research / Writing, Advocacy

Area of Law: Tenancy Law, Poverty Law, Employment Law, Elder Law

Where Will You Be Volunteering? At the Neighbourhood Legal Services office located at: 151 Dundas St, London, ON N6A 5R7

How Many Students? Two

Prerequisites / Assets:

Interest in access to justice issues.

Who Can Apply? 2Ls, 3Ls

Link to Organization: https://nlslm.com/


Ontario Justice Education Network Project

Description:

This project would focus on introducing young students to basic issues in employment law though group activities and seminars with guest legal professionals. This program would engage high-school civics and law classes as a part of OJEN’s Steps to Justice workshop series.

PBSC volunteers would be responsible for assisting in the administration of these workshops, familiarizing themselves with the OJEN materials for the topic at hand, and engaging students in the workshop in planned learning activities and open discussion. The guest legal professional would be responsible for answering student legal questions.

 The schedule will be provided to the students by the OJEN Coordinator.

Type of Project: Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Employment Law

Where Will You Be Volunteering? At various high-schools in the London community.

How Many Students? Three

Prerequisites / Assets:

Experience public speaking would be considered an asset – but is not required.

Who Can Apply? 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls

Link to Organization: http://ojen.ca/en/


Pro Bono Ontario at the Children’s Hospital

Description:

Pro Bono Ontario (PBO) at Children’s Hospital is a medical-legal partnership created to help low-income families resolve legal problems that may prevent them from focusing their full attention on caring for a sick child. PBO at Children’s Hospital covers a wide variety of legal needs.

The student(s) will assist families that are sent to the Pediatric Family Resource Centre by the hospital social workers and staff to complete government forms for their children who suffer from chronic or critical illnesses. When the student(s) are not assisting families, they will be completing small projects such as memos on new legislation, pamphlets with resources for families, project statistics, etc. These will be assigned by the on-site triage lawyer and should not take longer than 10 hours each to complete.

Note: This project requires an interview with Hospital staff.

Type of Project: Research / Writing, Client Assistance

Area of Law: Varies, but can include; Employment Law, Social Assistance, Housing Law, Immigration Law, Health Care Access, Family Law, Education Rights and Human Rights.

Where Will You Be Volunteering? Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC): 800 Commissioners Rd E, London, ON N6A 5W

How Many Students? Two

Prerequisites / Assets:

The student(s) will also be required to complete a health screen, watch a short video on hand washing, and agree to LHSC’s policy on not visiting the hospital if one is feeling unwell.

He or she may be required to show evidence of receipt of the flu shot or, if not, to wear a mask in patient care areas.

Applicants to this project should have an interest in health law and access to justice.

Who Can Apply? 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls

Link to Organization: https://www.probonoontario.org/2016/05/17/children-and-youth/


Small Claims Court Project

Description:

The Small Claims Court Project (SCCP) allows students to work with clients navigating the often-confusing Small Claims Court System. The Project covers the entire Small Claims Court process: Claim, to Hearing, to Enforcing Judgement.

Students will interview clients, draft court documents and work with London lawyers to prepare clients for trials or the enforcement of judgements.

Type of Project: Client Assistance

Area of Law: Various Private Law Areas Including; Torts, Contracts, Employment

Where Will You Be Volunteering? Community Legal Services Office

How Many Students? Eight

Prerequisites / Assets:

Experience with the Small Claims Court process will be considered an asset – but is not required.

Preference will be given to upper-year students.

Who Can Apply? 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls

Link to Organization: https://law.uwo.ca/legal_clinics/pro_bono_students_canada/small_claims_court_project.html


SLNRC Newcomer Settlement Services Project

Description:

South London Neighbourhood Resource Centre (SLNRC) is South London’s community space for all. Located within the premises of South London Community Centre, the SLNRC offers programs and services for all ages including Family and Parent Programs, Youth Council and Youth Programs, Basic Needs and Support, Cooking Groups and Adult Programming, Well Baby Clinics, Early Years Playgroups, Volunteer Opportunities, Summer Camps and Programming, Seniors Groups and Activities, and Newcomer Settlement Services. 

This project involves work with the Newcomer Settlement Services branch of SLNRC. Newcomer Settlement Services at SLNRC help newcomers settle in their community and integrate into Canadian society through Settlement programs.

Students will receive instructions from staff at SLNRC regarding legal topics to research and prepare presentations on. Most legal topics will involve aspects of the Canadian legal system that differ from the newcomer’s countries of origin.

Students will prepare the PowerPoint presentations and present them as workshops on a bi-weekly to monthly basis.

Type of Project: Research / Writing, Public Legal Education

Area of Law: Varies, depending on need.

Where Will You Be Volunteering? South London Neighbourhood Resource Centre at: 1119 Jalna Blvd, London, ON N6E 3B3

How Many Students? Four

Prerequisites / Assets:

Ability to speak Arabic and/ or Spanish would be considered an asset, although it is not required.

Who Can Apply? 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls

Link to Organization: http://www.slnrc.org/newcomer-settlement-services/