About Us

Who We Are

Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC) is a national, multiple award-winning organization, with chapters in law schools across the country. Our mandate is threefold:

(1) To train future lawyers by providing practical, supervised learning experiences for students;
(2) To increase access to justice for low-income individuals and non-profit organizations; and
(3) To promote a culture of pro bono in the profession. 

What We Do

Each academic year, PBSC places law students with community-based organizations, legal clinics and public interest groups that address the access to justice crisis. Each project is supervised by a practicing lawyer and provides students with the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom to meet legal needs as identified by partners in the community. As much as possible students are placed with projects that conform to their interests.

 Types of projects available through PBSC:

  • Legal research and the preparation of legal memoranda
  • Public legal education, including presentation delivery and brochure creation
  • Client assistance at legal clinics

Projects are developed with our community partners over the summer. PBSC students volunteer 3-5 hours per week between September and March excluding exam periods and mid-term breaks. 

If you are a community organization or lawyer that would like to be involved with PBSC please email pbsc.sask@gmail.com.

What We Do NOT Do

If you are involved in a legal issue and in search of legal advice, support or research, we cannot help you because:

  • law students do not have valid practising certificates (as required to practice under Rule 166(1) of the Saskatchewan Law Society Rules)
  • law students are not trained to run files 
  • law students do not carry liability insurance (as required to practice under Rule 167 of the Saskatchewan Law Society Rules)
  • law students at the college are not supervised by a licensed lawyer to carry out legal work 

This means we cannot:

  • answer legal questions
  • provide legal advice
  • work on files "pro bono"
  • provide you with legal documents or research

 If you are seeking legal advice, one of the following resources may be able to provide you with assistance:

Thank You

PBSC and the work that we do would not be possible without our skilled student volunteers, dedicated lawyer supervisors and generous funders.

          McCarthy Tetrault          Thomson Reuters       College of Law          WestLaw

Projects

Listed below are our current projects being offered during the 2019-20 academic year. We will be adding new projects and events as they are finalized so be sure to check back for updates!

What is it? Campus Legal Services (CLS) is a law-student run organization at the University of Saskatchewan that provides academic and non-academic support for a variety of issues such as academic appeals, residential disputes and student legal aid. Through this placement, students will have the opportunity to work directly with clients, gain interview experience, conduct legal writing and research, and provide summary legal advice in diverse areas of the law under the direct supervision of a lawyer.

You might like this project if:

  • you have good communication skills
  • you work well with others
  • you want to gain experience working on client files

Number of students: 12-15 students

View Project Description Form

What is it? Participants will monitor courts in assigned areas, identify civil liberties issue(s) in Canada and write accessible information for the public. This project serves all persons in Canada with an emphasis on those individuals and organizations interested in civil liberties issues and/or seeking information on civil liberties issues which may affect them; society at large by keeping the spotlight on civil liberties abuses and providing accessible rights information to Canadians.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in civil liberties across North America
  • you have a clear and succinct writing style
  • you are comfortable with your published work being discussed within the legal community 

Number of students: 1-2 students

View Project Description Form

What is it? Students will review several policies and bylaws of the City of Saskatoon through an equity lens, a tool developed to assess the policies or bylaws’ impact on equity and inclusion in the City. They will also produce a written assessment for each policy or bylaw based on the results of the equity lens assessment. 

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in policy and its implications
  • you have strong reading and writing skills 
  • you have a background in sociology or political science  

Number of students: 4-6 students

View Project Description Form

What is it? Low-income and otherwise disadvantaged people are vulnerable to exploitation and discrimination in part because they are often unaware of their legal rights and responsibilities. CLE students will attend community-based organizations and present information about the law and its processes, promote community empowerment, and listen to community perspectives about justice and systemic barriers.  CLE students may also do legal research and prepare presentations (e.g. Powerpoint's) and material (e.g. informative pamphlet). CLE students will work under the supervision of a lawyer. 

You might like this project if:

  • you have strong communication and presentation skills
  • you have a positive and engaging attitude
  • you have an interest in learning about systemic barriers many people face

NOTE: It is mandatory that students submit their criminal record check, signed confidentiality statement, and student code of conduct to CLASSIC before they are able to work at the clinic.

Number of students: 3-4 students 

View Project Description Form

What is it? The Legal Advice Clinic provides an opportunity for low-income clients to receive summary advice from volunteer practicing lawyers during 30 minute appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students assist the lawyers by either taking notes during the interviews or greeting clients as they arrive during the evening sessions. During a shift on reception, volunteers are able to bring along schoolwork as the office is otherwise closed. This shift is relatively straightforward as students are responsible for unlocking the door for incoming clients. Students will get an equal amount of reception work and time with the volunteer lawyer and clients. The areas of the law that the LAC deals with include to civil, criminal, immigration and family matters.

You might like this project if:
  • you have a clear and succinct writing style
  • you are available Tuesday and Thursday afternoons or evenings 
  • you have an interest in learning more about civil, criminal, immigration or family law 

NOTE: It is mandatory that students submit their criminal record check, signed confidentiality statement, and student code of conduct to CLASSIC before they are able to work at the clinic.

Number of students: 6-10 students

View Project Description Form

What is it? Project ID students work with individuals who have lost identification and prepare the necessary documentation to obtain replacement identification with groups at workshops and clinics hosted at community-based organizations.  CLASSIC has been successful at hosting ID clinics at large community centres which attract hundreds of marginalized community members and provide them with on-the-spot ID support.  It is an exciting environment in which student volunteers are essential to provide the assistance. 
Project ID students are also involved in systemic initiatives to lower barriers to ID, such as reducing/waiving fees and streamlining processes.  Students’ work in this regard may include research and writing, as well as relationship building with government agencies.  

You might like this project if:

  • you have a positive and engaging attitude
  • you have an interest in helping marginalized members of the community
  • a second language would be an asset 

NOTE: It is mandatory that students submit their criminal record check, signed confidentiality statement, and student code of conduct to CLASSIC before they are able to work at the clinic.

Number of students: 4-6 students 

View Project Description Form

What is it? Under the supervision of staff lawyers, students will have the opportunity work in a clinical setting, while providing direct client assistance during their placement. Roles include: drafting correspondence and court documents, legal research and writing, representing clients at Provincial Court for summary criminal matters, and representing clients at administrative tribunals, including the Office of Residential Tenancies. 

You might like this project if:

  • you have strong communication skills
  • you work well with a team
  • you have a positive and engaging attitude
  • you have experience with legal research and advocacy 

NOTE: It is mandatory that students submit their criminal record check, signed confidentiality statement, and student code of conduct to CLASSIC before they are able to work at the clinic. 

Number of students: 1-8 upper year students. There is a strong preference for upper years with previous intensive experience. 

View Project Description Form

What is it? Using previously developed materials and a transition memo as a guide, volunteers will create youth-oriented presentations on issues of consent, sexual assault, and other legal issues that come up in the context of relationships and dating violence. Presentations will be given to Saskatoon (and area) high school students with the opportunity to reach out to other youth groups who may benefit from the material. The presentations will be approximately forty-five minutes long and volunteers are encouraged to use creative ideas to engage their audiences. 

You might like this project if:

  • you have experience working with teens
  • you have strong communication and presentation skills
  • you are interested in sexual assault or domestic violence in a legal context  

Number of students: 6-8 students

View Project Description Form

What is it? Students will be compiling research on current legislation, case law, and tribunal decisions impacting individuals with learning disabilities with a focus on dyslexia and relevant accommodations that have been made in the classroom as a result. The students will examine both federal and provincial law in Saskatchewan. The deliverable of the project will be organized and structured research material for the organization to use in their operations.

You might like this project if:

  • you have experience working with people who have learning disabilities and want to learn about related legal accomodations
  • you have strong research and writing skills
  • you are interested in the education system and educational policies within schools

Number of students: 2-3 students

View Project Description Form

What is it? This research memo will survey human rights law and prison law as it relates to the legality of reprimanding those with cognitive disabilities, and current prison policies and procedures related to accommodating those with FASD. This research memo may ultimately be used by the organization to advocate for internal prison policy changes when working with those living with a disability while in prison.

You might like this project if:

  • you have experience working with people within the criminal justice system or vulnerable populations
  • you have strong research and writing skills
  • you are interested in the criminal justice system, human rights and internal prison policies

Number of students: 2-3 students

View Project Description Form

What is it? This program aims to provide the Saskatchewan community with free legal information on various family law topics through family law help sessions hosted at various libraries throughout Saskatoon. The family law sessions are facilitated through a partnership of various organizations including Pro Bono Students Canada, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice, Public Legal Education Association and Panko Collaborative Law.

The sessions provide an opportunity for self-represented parties involved in family law litigation to learn more about the court system and receive information on the processes and expectations of court.

Students have a very integrative role at the sessions as they conduct one-on one meetings with individuals seeking legal information. Students provide information to the self-representatives and also answer specific questions. Supervising lawyers are present to help students provide information and answer questions where help is needed. Students also have the opportunity to debrief the sessions and ask specific questions to a practicing lawyer during debrief sessions to be hosted five times throughout the year occurring during the months of October, November, January, February and March.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in family law
  • you have excellent communication skills and patience
  • you have a background in social work or a similar field 

Number of students: 8 students (7 upper years and 1 first year for triage)

View Project Description Form

What is it? Students will provide information about family law in Saskatchewan through thirty-minute presentations on judicial process, custody and access, child support and division of property. Students will allot time for discussion and questions when a supervising lawyer is able to attend. Prior to delivering presentations, each student will be assigned a family law presentation from last year to review, ensuring that the information is up to date.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in family law
  • you have strong research and writing skills
  • you are comfortable with public speaking

Number of students: 3-4 students

View Project Description Form

What is it? The project will focus its efforts on researching prison sentences received by those who experience intellectual or cognitive disabilities, and related moral, ethical and financial consequences to current charging, prosecution, sentencing, and incarceration rates and practices. This project will seek to identify where traditional punitive measures in the criminal justice system are not appropriate, and how alternative, innovative methods would be more suitable in reducing recidivism rates. Reducing incarceration and recidivism rates is the primary goal of this project and students will explore methods that help discourage reoffending and promote the healthy return of individuals into society.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in human rights, criminal law or human rights law
  • you have a background in social work or working within the criminal system
  • you are passionate about advocating for prisoner rights

Number of students: 3-4 students

View Project Description Form

What is it? As a national organization with a limited budget, Innocence Canada is struggling to reach inmates coast to coast. This project will have students research local groups and organizations that have access to prisons (ex: prison chaplains, criminal defense lawyers, elders, CSC program leaders, etc.). Through formal presentations, students will reach out to these groups with the goal of providing them information on Innocence Canada, the legal process involved in submitting a s.696.1 application to the Minister of Justice, and the contributing factors to wrongful convictions. In weeks when no presentations are being conducted, students will work on creating an FAQ guide, and continuing research on organizations to reach out to.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in criminal law and its appeal processes
  • you have a background in wrongful convictions or innocence work
  • you are passionate about advocating for wrongfully convicted individuals

Number of students: 3-4 students

View Project Description Form

What is it? The John Howard Society is hoping to develop a series of fact sheets on Saskatchewan law related to a variety of different topics, including: Fact Sheets are publications that provide helpful information on a variety of social and criminal justice issues. They are intended for both front-line service providers, community partners, and the public. Students will be developing plain language resources that will be distributed to different community partners, with a goal of roughly one to two fact sheets per month.

You might like this project if:

  • you are interested in prison law and / or human rights
  • you are interested in developing plain language and accessible materials for the public
  • you have strong communication and writing skills

Number of students: 1-2 students 

View the Project Description Form

 

What is it? Students will review court databases, legislative sites, and media reports for assigned jurisdictions to identify cases and proposed legislation that may affect women’s equality rights in Canada. They will provide brief case comments or memos on cases or bills of interest, as well as complete occasional short research assignments

You might like this project if:

  • you are interested in women’s rights in a legal context
  • you have a clear and succinct writing style
  • you have strong research skills
  • you are comfortable with your published work being discussed within the legal community

Number of students: 1-2 students

View the Project Description Form

What is it? Two upper year students will assist the Native Law Centre with their Case Watch blog. Content on the blog summarizes and provides commentary on recent decisions relevant to the Centre’s research focus on Canadian law as it impacts Indigenous people. Students will be assigned cases to review and summarize, which will be published on the blog under the NLC name. On top of case summaries, students may also have opportunities to co-author an opinion piece blog post with the lawyer supervisor. 

You might like this project if:

  • you are interested in aboriginal law 
  • you have experience with legal research and writing and work well with deadlines
  • you have a clear and succinct writing style
  • you are comfortable with your published work being discussed within the legal community

Number of students: Two upper year students

View Project Description Form

What is it? Students will be creating accessible pamphlets for self-represented litigants involved in Court of Queen’s Bench processes in Saskatchewan. Students will research different civil procedures and create step by step guides for litigants explaining what the process are, the purposes of different forms they may need, and any other relevant information.

The goal of the project is to increase access to justice by allowing self-represented litigants to inform themselves of different court procedures through student created, plain language materials.

You might like this project if:

  • you are interested in learning more about how Queen's Bench procedures work
  • you are interested in helping improve access to justice 
  • you have strong writing and communication skills 

Number of students: 1-2 students

View Project Description Form

What is it? Accommodating different mental and physical injuries, conditions and disabilities in the workplace is an increasingly important area of employment law. Students will work with Radius to research the current state of the law as it relates to accommodating different mental and physical needs of employees. Students will need to investigate when an employee needs to disclose their physical or mental disability, what responsibilities employers have in the context of providing accommodations, how pay may be affected by time off, and any other topics chosen by the organization.

You might like this project if:

  • you are interested in labour and employment law
  • you are interested in how federal and provincial laws around mental health and accomodations have shaped internal policies for workplaces
  • you have strong research and writing skills

Number of students: 1-2 students

View Project Description Form

What is it? Bullying can take many different forms, and with the rise of technology and social media, the methodology of bullying has changed. This project, in partnership with the Red Cross, will address the legal ramifications of cyber bullying by researching and writing an accessible presentation on harassment laws, mischief, online threats, and other related topics in an attempt to educate and dissuade children from using the internet to bully one another.

Students will research the current legal options available to victims of online bullying, and the consequences for those who choose to participate in cyberbullying. This presentation will ultimately be given to grade six classes in Saskatoon and surrounding area, once the presentation has been developed.*


You might like this project if:

  • you are interested in criminal law and its application to cyber harassment and bullying
  • you have an interest social media and how it's used by children and teens
  • you have strong research and writing skills

Number of students: 1-2 students

View Project Description Form

*Please note: Presentations will likely not take place during the 2019-20 school year, but the volunteers on the project for the following year will use the presentation as a starting point for the 2020-21 year.

What is it? The Saskatchewan Association for Environmental Law (SKAEL) is a newly formed environmental advocacy group. The students will follow developments in Canadian environmental law particularly as they pertain to Saskatchewan. This will include looking into recent cases, new legislation, and any social developments. Students will then work together with the organization supervisor to decide which items warrant a blog post to be published, and work to create such a post for the SKAEL website. Students will be responsible for publishing an article every two weeks.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in environmental law
  • you have strong research and writing skills
  • you are comfortable with your published work being discussed within the legal community 

Number of students: 1-2 

View Project Description Form

What is it? While animals contribute significantly to our quality of life, the sad reality is that animals may also be the victims of abuse or neglect at the hands of human beings. There is a growing awareness that cruelty to animals and violence to people are closely related. Studies have found that cruelty to animals is often both an indicator and a predictor of interpersonal, family and community violence. The SSPCA undertook a survey and found many challenges faced by women who own pets or livestock when leaving situations of interpersonal violence. The study revealed that animals can be used to threaten, intimidate, and silence the victims of abuse in situations involving family violence.

Students will work with the SSPCA to research the current state of the law as it relates to victim’s rights in regard to pets or livestock during a court process. This may include relevant statutes governing animal rights, related criminal code provisions, or other sources of law.

This research will be developed into both a formal research memo and an accessible brochure that the SSPCA can provide to the community. Ultimately this research may be developed into a training manual for judges, so that pets can be included as a condition in no-contact orders following a charge of domestic violence.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in helping survivors of domestic violence 
  • you have strong research and writing skills
  • you are interested in having your research be published within the community as a guide for victims 

Number of students: 2-3 students

View Project Description Form

What is it? Students will create a plain language brochure on wills, health care directives and power of attorney documents that will be distributed in the community. Following the completion of the brochure, clinics will be set up in the community where students will work under the supervision of a lawyer from Miller Thomson LLP to draft wills specific to the clients that attend the clinic. Once wills are drafted, a supervising lawyer will review them and clients will come back for a second round of the clinic to sign the documents. Students will gain practical experience interviewing clients, taking their information and instructions, and drafting legal documents.

You might like this project if:

  • you are interested in learning about wills and estates
  • you have strong communication and writing skills 
  • you will work well with a diverse group of clients 

Number of students: 6-10 upper year students, with a preference for students who have taken Wills and Estate Planning. 

View Project Description Form

What is it? Students will research the current legal options available to survivors of sexual assault and the current laws relating to sexual assault and develop a plain language presentation. This presentation will be given to members of the community who are at a high risk of having been a survivor of sexual assault, or who are statistically at a high risk of being sexually assaulted. Students will educate the community members about their options following a sexual assault, specifically their legal options. Students will also develop a one page document with the contact information for resources available in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan for survivors.

You might like this project if:

  • you are interested in learning about the laws surrounding sexual assault and options available to survivors
  • you have experience working with sexaul assault survivors or other vulnerable populations
  • you are interested in public speaking and delivering presentations

Number of students: 6-8 students

NOTE: Due to the senstive nature of the project and the communities it aims to serve, volunteers must identify as female in order to be considered. 

View Project Description Form

Apply

PBSC Usask is NOT currently accepting applications. Check back in the fall of 2020 to apply!

If you are a community organization or lawyer that would like to be involved with PBSC, please email pbsc.sask@gmail.com.

Events

Information Session: Thursday, September 5th, 2019 from 4:15 to 5:45PM

  • a free pizza dinner will be provided!
  • come and learn about what PBSC is, what projects we offer, and how to get involved!
Early Bird Deadline: Tuesday, September 10th, 2019 at noon
  • students who apply before the early bird deadline will be entered for a chance to win a $50 Starbucks giftcard

Application Deadline: Friday, September 13th, 2019 at 4PM

  • any applications received after 4PM will not be considered for placement

Placement Acceptance Deadline: Tuesday, September 17th, 2019 at noon

General Training: Friday, September 20th, 2019 from 2:30 to 4:30PM

  • all student volunteers are required to attened general training before they can start in their placement

PROJECT SPECIFIC TRAINING

  • CLASSIC Training: Tuesday, September 24th, 2019
  • FLAC Training: Saturday, September 28th, 2019

 

FLAC

The Family Legal Assistance Clinic (FLAC) is a special segment of PBSC Usask with various projects that address family law matters. Students placed with FLAC will have a unique opportunity to work with one another to provide legal information and assistance to the community in partnership with local organizations. Through these partnerships, FLAC provides three different programs including both community presentations and family law sessions where free legal information is provided.

Our family law clinical schedule for the 2019-20 academic year is:

Saskatoon Public Library

  • Thursday, September 12, 2019: 6:30-8:30PM
  • Thursday, September 26, 2019: 6:30-8:30PM
  • Thursday, October 20, 2019: 6:30-8:30PM
  • Thursday, November 7, 2019: 6:30-8:30PM
  • Thursday, November 21, 2019: 6:30-8:30PM
  • Thursday, December 12, 2019: 6:30-8:30PM

Carlyle King Branch - 3130 Laurier Drive

  • Thursday, September 12, 2019: 2:00-4:00PM
  • Thursday, October 10, 2019: 2:00-4:00PM
  • Thursday, November 7, 2019: 2:00-4:00PM

Rusty Macdonald Branch - 225 Primrose Drive

  • Thursday, September 26, 2019: 2:00-4:00PM
  • Thursday, November 21, 2019: 2:00-4:00PM
  • Thursday, December 12, 2019: 2:00-4:00PM

Law Society Library, Court of Queen's Bench - 520 Spadina Cres E

  • Friday, September 13, 2019: 9:30-11:30AM
  • Friday, September 27, 2019: 9:30-11:30AM
  • Friday, October 11, 2019: 9:30-11:30AM
  • Friday, November 8, 2019: 9:30-11:30AM
  • Friday, November 22, 2019: 9:30-11:30AM
  • Friday, December 13, 2019: 9:30-11:30AM

*No registration is required. For more information contact svp@gov.sk.ca or call 1(888)218-2822 (ext 2)*

The FLAC Coordinators are Amanda Robertson and Haley Stearns. If you have any questions about the services that FLAC offers or if you are an organization in the community interested in hosting FLAC presentations, please contact Amanda and Haley at flac.pbsc@gmail.com.

Contact Us

Geneva Houlden and Victoria Campbell
2019-20 Program Coordinators

College of Law, University of Saskatchewan
Room 81-15 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, SK   S7H 2M3

306-966-7757
pbsc.sask@gmail.com
Follow us  

If you are seeking legal advice, one of the following resources may be able to provide you with assistance: