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
  • Internships supporting lawyers working on pro bono cases
  • 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.

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 the available projects for the 2018-19 academic year. 

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

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: 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: 1-5 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? The Elizabeth Fry Society of Saskatchewan is a woman-centred, non-profit organization committed to working for and with criminalized women and their families. It is the only organization in Saskatchewan working specifically with women involved with the criminal justice system. This project is centred around health care accessibility for those incarcerated at Pine Grove Correctional Centre. Students will prepare a memo and a plain-language handout summarizing their research on health care accessibility with an option to deliver a presentation to a group at Pine Grove Correctional Centre based on their research.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in prison law or health law
  • you have strong research and writing skills 
  • you have a background in sociology, political science or health services

NOTE: Due to the nature of the work and the clients we serve, applicants must self-identify as female to be considered. If students plan on attending the trip to Pine Grove, they must submit a criminal record check to the organization.

Number of students: 1-2

View Project Description Form

What is it? The Elizabeth Fry Society of Saskatchewan is a woman-centred, non-profit organization committed to working for and with criminalized women and their families. It is the only organization in Saskatchewan working specifically with women involved with the criminal justice system. This project is centred around the searches women may experience while in prison and their rights during these situations. Students will prepare a memo and a plain-language handout summarizing their research on prison searches with an option to deliver a presentation to a group at Pine Grove Correctional Centre based on their research.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in prison law
  • you have strong research and writing skills 
  • you have a background in sociology, political science or another field of humanities

NOTE: Due to the nature of the work and the clients we serve, applicants must self-identify as female to be considered. If students plan on attending the trip to Pine Grove, they must submit a criminal record check to the organization.

Number of students: 1-2

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

What is it? Saskatchewan has one of the highest rates of Indigenous incarceration across Canada. This project will be focused on creating supplemental material for seminars run by the Michelle Brass for the Native Law Centre throughout the province. Students will analyze criminal cases in Saskatchewan where Gladue factors have been applied, and create short paragraphs describing how the courts dealt with these factors in sentencing. Analysis of cases from other jurisdictions will also be completed so that a comparative of the use of the Gladue case may be made as part of the research being completed for the Project.

This project is part of a one-year contract that is funded by the Ontario Law Foundation.  It will thus only run until early February. Students will have the option of joining Ms. Brass on trips to her seminars, scheduled for October and early November to locations including Moose Jaw, Estevan, and Regina. 

 You might like this project if:
  • you have an interest in criminal law or aboriginal law
  • you are interested in socio-economics in the context of the legal system
  • you have a background in sociology, indigenous studies, policy or political science 

NOTE: There are no requirements for this project, but students should be aware that they will be required to review many criminal cases containing details that may be found disturbing or traumatizing. 

Number of students: 1-2

View Project Description Form

What is it? Students will be working on a handbook for federally sentenced male inmates in Saskatchewan. The handbook would be similar to the “Human Rights in Action; handbook for women serving federal sentences” which was developed by the Elizabeth Fry Society. This would include everything from what to expect upon arriving at the institution to restrictive measures, inmate rights and understanding release options. Such a handbook already exists for provincially sentenced inmates in Saskatchewan.

The students will have opportunities to visit both the provincial and federal institutions with JHSS staff and have access to resources within the organization, including various stakeholders that they might need to contact for information.

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 

NOTE: If students plan on attending the trip to either a federal or provincial institution they must submit a criminal record check to the organization.

View Project Description Form

 

What is it? Students will be working on a handbook for provincially sentenced male inmates in Saskatchewan and their families. The handbook will be for people who are visiting a loved one inside the correctional facility, and what they can expect. John Howard Society of Ontario (JHSO) has produced a similar handbook for Ontario that can be used as a template for a Saskatchewan model. The intent of this handbook is to provide information and support to those on the outside as to whether or not to visit a loved one, how to go about it (both federally, and provincially), what they can/should take, what they can expect, who can go, what to do if they feel that a loved one is being mistreated.

The students will also have opportunities to visit both the provincial and federal institutions with JHSS staff and have access to resources within the organization, including various stakeholders that they might need to contact for information.

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 

NOTE: If students plan on attending the trip to either a federal or provincial institution they must submit a criminal record check to the organization.

View 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 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 conduct interview research by canvassing free clinic lawyer volunteers with the goal of making recommendations to improve PBLS free clinic service delivery. This project will allow the PBSC student to analyze responses and gauge the state of access to justice in Saskatchewan as effected by PBLS programming, with a final memo or report detailing the complaints and recommendations made most frequently by volunteer lawyers. This report will be used by PBLS to improve its delivery of legal clinic services and in turn to increase access to justice in Saskatchewan.

You might like this project if:

  • you are interested in learning more about how free legal clinics 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? Addictions management in the workplace is a developing area of employment law. The programs offered by Radius touch on policies regarding addictions at both the individual level and the organization level. Students will work with Radius to research the current state of the law as it relates to addictions management with a particular focus on marijuana. Students will need to investigate the necessary policy changes related to marijuana given the changing legal status of the substance.

You might like this project if:

  • you are interested in labour and employment law
  • you are interested in how new policies around marijuana regulation 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? For this project, students will work with the Saskatchewan Association for Community Living (SACL) to produce a research memo on Mental Health Courts within the criminal justice context. The memo will compare and contrast different adult Mental Health Court models in provinces and territories in Canada and across the globe. In addition to the research project, students will have the option to attend a Mental Health Court docket in Saskatoon. MHS Court is held every second Monday at the Saskatoon Provincial Courthouse. Students will shadow their organization supervisor and learn about the role of a community advocate during the court process. 

You might like this project if:

  • you are interested in how mental health affects the court process
  • you have strong research and writing skills
  • you are interested in comparing how different jurisdictions have modelled their court systems

Number of students: 4-6 students

View Project Description Form

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? 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

Apply

PBSC Usask is now accepting applications! 

All applicants must submit:

  • PBSC 2018-19 Volunteer Application Form
  • A copy of their resume or CV (via email to pbsc.sask@gmail.com

NOTE: Cover letters are not required. Any application sumbitted without a resume will be considered incomplete and you will not be placed in a project until your application is completed.

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

Events

PBSC Information Session & Launch: Friday, September 7th, 2018 at 11:30 am in Room 150

Student Volunteer Early Bird Application Deadline: Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Student Volunteer Application Deadline: Friday, September 14th, 2018 at 12:00 pm (Noon)

PBSC General Mandatory Training: Thursday, September 20th, 2018 from 2:30 to 4:30 pm in Room 150

FLAC Mandatory Training Session: Saturday, September 22nd, 2018 from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.

CLASSIC Mandatory Training: Thursday, September 27th, 2018 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm.

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. The programming schedule for the 2018-19 academic year will be available when finalized.

FLAC Programming 2017-18

The FLAC Coordinators are Brooklyn Fiesel and Amanda Robertson. 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 Brooklyn and Amanda at flac.pbsc@gmail.com.

Contact Us

Geneva Houlden and Coleman Owen
2018-19 Program Coordinators

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

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