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 719(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 720 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

Covid-19 Response

As a result of the College's decision to partially resume classes in person for the Fall 2021 term, and at the guidance of PBSC National, most projects will take place online unless otherwise stated within the Project Description Form. This will continue to keep our student volunteers, community organization partners, lawyer supervisors, and members of the public as safe as possible while still making a meaningful impact through pro bono work.

Projects

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 
  • you are an upper year student

Number of students: 1 student

Additional Requirements: Students must be available for one of the CCLA training sessions offered Wednesday September 29 at 3 pm EST or Friday October 1 at 1 pm EST. 

Learn more about the organization: https://ccla.org/

What is it? Participants will support low-income and/or marginalized community members by helping them understand their rights and responsibilities; assisting them in receiving summary advice from volunteer practicing lawyers; and preparing necessary documentation to obtain replacement identification. The project encompasses 3 components: Project ID, Legal Advice Clinic (LAC), and Community Legal Education (CLE). Project ID and LAC will commence in Term 2 with in-person delivery. The CLE will commence in Term 1. 3-5 hours per week is not guaranteed for each week.

You might like this project if:

  • you are flexible - ability to volunteer evenings and weekends
  • you have an interest in a diverse array of legal subject areas such as criminal, immigration, housing, social assistance, identification, human rights, and civil litigation
  • you are personable and comfortable speaking with clients
  • you are comfortable public speaking

Number of students: 4 students + 1 project lead

Additional Requirements: Students must submit their criminal record check, sign confidentiality statement, and student Code of Conduct to CLASSIC.

Learn more about the organization: http://www.classiclaw.ca/

What is it? Students will research laws around consent, sexual assault, and other legal issues that come up in the context of relationships and dating violence to update existing presentation materials or create new materials. Once the materials are solidified, students will be scheduled to give presentations to high school students (between Grades 9 and 12) in Saskatoon (and area) and other youth groups and/or organizations working with youth.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in laws around consent, sexual assault
  • you have experience working with high school students
  • you are personable and have creative ways to engage youth
  • you are comfortable public speaking

Number of students: 6-8 students + 1 project lead

Additional Requirements: Students must be available for the mandatory supplementary training offered Friday October 1, 2021 from 2-3:30 pm CST via Zoom.

Learn more about the organization: https://www.plea.org/

What is it? Participants will research and update presentation materials to reflect the current legal options available to victims of online bullying and the consequences for those who choose to participate in cyberbullying. Students will facilitate presentations to grade six classes in Saskatoon and surrounding area, as well as non-profit organizations working with youth.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in human rights law, laws around harassment and mischief
  • you have experience working with children or youth
  • you are personable and have strong communication skills
  • you are comfortable with public speaking

Number of students: 6-8 students + 1 project lead

Additional Requirements: None required.

Learn more about the organization: https://www.plea.org/

What is it? Students will research and create fact sheets that provide helpful information on a variety of social and criminal justice issues. This year, students will focus on topics such as “pregnant individuals and incarceration”, “transgender inmates”, and “housing resources for recently released former inmates”. These plain language resources will be distributed to community partners and will be featured on the organization’s website.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in human rights law and prison law
  • you have a clear and succinct writing style
  • you are comfortable or have an interest in designing fact sheets

Number of students: 3 students

Additional Requirements: None required.  

Learn more about the organization: https://elizabethfrysask.org/

What is it? Students will engage with both Public Legal Education sessions, as well as Family Law Assistance Clinics. Responsibilities will include facilitating presentations tailored to various community-based organizations, direct clients to resources, and assist lawyers during client meetings.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in family law
  • you have an interest in community engagement
  • you are comfortable public speaking
  • you are comfortable in-person meetings with clients and lawyers

Number of students: 8 students + 1 project lead

Additional Requirements: Students must be available for the two-part mandatory supplementary training offered via Microsoft Teams: (1) Friday September 24, 2021 from 1-3:30pm; and (2) Saturday October 2, 2021 at 10-1:30pm. All students must attend both sessions.

Learn more about the organization: Family Justice Services - Family Law Unit

What is it? Students will prepare two research papers to direct John Howard Society Saskatchewan’s policy position on best practice program delivery in remand, as well as best practice for addictions and mental health treatment.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in human rights law, criminal law, and prison law
  • you have an interest in promoting effective mental health and addictions strategy in correctional centres
  • you have an interest in exploring effective programming to inmates on remand
  • you enjoy research

Number of students: 2 students

Additional Requirements: None required.

Learn more about the organization: https://www.sk.johnhoward.ca/

What is it? Through research, data collection, and analysis, students will explore how judicial centres and public agencies in Saskatchewan have changed the way they interact with the public as a result of COVID-19. Students will create and help administer a questionnaire that will be used to survey past, and possibly present, clients of Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan as to their experience with centres and agencies during the pandemic.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in exploring intersections between COVID-19 and legal service delivery
  • you have an interest in access to judicial centres relating to civil, family, and criminal law
  • you have a background in Sociology or familiar with sociological research techniques
  • you are comfortable conducting phone interviews

Number of students: 3 students

Additional Requirements: Students must be upper year students. However, up to one first year student will be selected.

Learn more about the organization: https://pblsask.ca/

What is it? Students will prepare a research memo and a PowerPoint presentation on laws around consent, sexual misconduct, and legal issues that come up in the context of consent and cognitive disability. The research will help illuminate areas of improvement in current laws dealing with youths with cognitive disabilities in sexual misconduct cases.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in criminal law, disability law
  • you have strong research skills
  • you are comfortable with public speaking

Number of students: 3-4 students

Additional Requirements: None required.

Learn more about the organization: https://radiuscentre.com

What is it? Students will prepare a short research memo and a plain language resource that explains the difference between a criminal and non-criminal racist or discriminatory acts and what steps to take if it happens to you. This resource will be utilized by newcomer organizations, Indigenous organizations, employment programs, schools, universities, libraries, cultural and faith organizations, community centres, health care, victim services, etc., as well as future cultural bridging and/or anti-racism events.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in criminal law, human rights law
  • you have an interest in designing brochures or infographics
  • you have strong research skills

Number of students: 2 students

Additional Requirements: None required.

Learn more about the organization: https://www.rrlip.ca

What is it? Student will review RentSmart Housing Manuals and make appropriate changes into Saskatchewan laws. Students may suggest areas of improvement, areas in need of clarity, and give overall feedback regarding the documents.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in housing law - interest in The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 and Office of Residential Tenancies
  • you are meticulous and pays attention to detail
  • you enjoy editing documents

Number of students: 1 student

Additional Requirements: None required.

Learn more about the organization: https://www.rrlip.ca

What is it? Students will each choose one of three topics to create a research memo and a plain language pamphlet. Topics include ‘supported housing’, ‘medical assistance in dying (MAID)’, and ‘reverse mortgage’.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in elder law
  • you have clear and succinct writing style
  • you are comfortable designing pamphlets

Number of students: 2 students

Additional Requirements: None required.

Learn more about the organization: https://scoa.ca/

What is it? Students will create content related to environmental law for SKAEL’s website, which can include writing articles, making case briefs, and preparing information for the public on environmental laws and legislation. Topics are based on students’ interests but could include subjects such as climate litigation, Indigenous rights, natural resource exploitation, etc. 

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in environmental law
  • you have clear and succinct writing style
  • you are comfortable with your work published on SKAEL’s website 

Number of students: 2 students

Additional Requirements: None required.

Learn more about the organization: https://www.skael.ca

What is it? Students will develop a research memo to include information on the liabilities and protection attached to prescribed fires in Saskatchewan legislation. The memo will highlight similar legislations in Manitoba and Alberta and include case law associated with this subject.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in environmental law
  • you have clear and succinct writing style
  • you have strong research skills

Number of students: 1 student

Additional Requirements: None required.

Learn more about the organization: https://www.skael.ca

What is it? Students will create one-paged fact sheet(s) and a PowerPoint presentation highlighting laws protecting women and children in Saskatchewan and Canada. This resource will be made available for newcomer families and individuals in various languages and used by settlement counsellors. Students will facilitate presentations to clients and staff of Saskatoon Open Door Society, a settlement agency helping immigrants and refugees.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in criminal law, criminal procedure
  • you have an interest in helping newcomer population in Saskatoon and/or have experience working with refugees or immigrants
  • you are comfortable with public speaking - ability to speak clearly and concisely, given the English language level of the audience

Number of students: 2 students

Additional Requirements: None required.

Learn more about the organization: https://www.sods.sk.ca

What is it? Students will be responsible in creating a research memo and a quick information sheet on court cases and current Saskatchewan legislation involving pets in custody disputes. The research will also direct students to compare Saskatchewan with other provinces. The info sheet will outline legal information for pet owners on how issues relating to pet ownership is resolved in court, who gets the pet in a separation or divorce or other joint animal ownership, and what judges may look to in determining ownership.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in civil litigation, family law, animal rights
  • you have clear and succinct writing style
  • you are comfortable designing info sheet

Number of students: 2 students

Additional Requirements: None required.

Learn more about the organization: https://www.saskspca.ca

What is it? Students will be responsible for updating legal brochure and PowerPoint presentation on the latest laws on wills, health care directive, and power of attorney; promote Wills Clinic sessions to community-based organizations; host 3 Wills Clinic sessions; and with the help of the Lawyer Supervisor, draft documents based on client instructions. The Wills Clinic will comprise of a 45-minute presentation and client in-take during which students will use a precedent questionnaire to take detailed notes.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in family law
  • you have an interest in community engagement
  • you are comfortable public speaking
  • you are comfortable in-person meetings with clients and lawyers

Number of students: 6-8 students + 1 project lead

Additional Requirements: None required.

Learn more about the organization: https://www.millerthomson.com/en/

What is it?  Under the supervision of a Lawyer Supervisor in Yukon, students will create fact sheets on student and parent rights and entitlements under existing legislation in the Yukon and Canada; and the administrative processes such as the Education Appeal Tribunal. Students will also create relevant blog posts, which could include case briefs of recent cases pertaining to students with disabilities.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in constitutional law, administrative law
  • you have clear and succinct writing style
  • you are comfortable with your work published on Yukon Right to Learn’s website  

Number of students: 1-2 students

Additional Requirements: None required, but preference will be given to upper year students.

Learn more about the organization: Website in progress

What is it? Students will update existing resources to reflect current legal options available to survivors of sexual assault and the current laws relating to sexual assault. Students will create PowerPoint presentations and facilitate information sessions tailored for YWCA clients who access in-house programs.

You might like this project if:

  • you have an interest in laws surrounding sexual assault
  • you are interested and/or have experience working with survivors of sexual assault
  • you are personable
  • you are comfortable with public speaking

Number of students: 2 students

Additional Requirements: None required.

Learn more about the organization: https://www.ywcasaskatoon.com/

Apply

PBSC Usask application is now closed. Please consider volunteering with us next year!

 

Events & Training

PBSC General Training: Saturday, September 25th at 10am (CST) via Zoom 

Join Zoom Meeting: HERE

PBSC Westlaw Legal Research Introductory Training (mandatory for all 1Ls; online): Thursday, October 7th at 11am (CST)

PBSC Westlaw Legal Research Advanced Training (mandatory for all upper-years on research projects and option for those who are not; online): Friday, October 8th at 12noon (CST) 

 

Project-specific Trainings

  • Family Law Project: (1) Friday, September 24th at 1pm and (2) Saturday, October 2nd at 10am (CST) via Microsoft Teams - must attend both sessions
  • CCLA: Wedneday, September 29 at 3pm (EST) or Friday, October 1st at 1pm (EST) via Zoom 
  • Consent Project: Friday, October 1st at 2pm (CST) via Zoom

 

For projects without specific trainings, volunteers will have the chance to meet with Organization Supervisors and Lawyer Supervisors during the first week of October. 

Deadlines

 

Deadline to Accept PBSC Placement: Wednesday, September 22nd at 5pm (CST) 

Contact Us

Sonia Lee & McKenzie Parks
2021-22 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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If you are seeking legal advice, one of the following resources may be able to provide you with assistance: