“Last year, more than 1,600 PBSC students […] provided more than 130,000 hours of free legal services to more than 14,000 low-income Canadians. There is no other student organization in the world of this size, with this kind of impact on access to justice”
– The Ottawa Citizen, 2016
Who we are:
Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC) is an award-winning law student program that provides legal services free of charge to organizations and individuals in need across Canada. The program provides invaluable hands-on-experience to student volunteers and high quality, professional legal assistance to organizations.
How we work:
The format of our program is simple – we match law students with organizations in need of legal or law-related services. Each student works with an organization for the duration of the academic year, providing 3 to 5 hours of service per week, with blackout periods during exams. PBSC-UBC offers projects in client intake and advocacy, research and drafting, and public legal education. With placements in family law, criminal law, environmental law, poverty law, immigration law, Aboriginal law, and women’s rights, PBSC-UBC has something for everyone!
What makes us different:
Student volunteers are directly supervised by lawyers in the field. This means that students gain more than just practical legal experience; they receive mentorship and support every step of the way, allowing them to truly excel in their placements. PBSC also recognizes that the law curriculum is quite demanding and accordingly requires that its volunteers work a manageable, predictable number of hours each week. Lastly, as a national program with chapters at 21 law schools across Canada, PBSC experience will be valued in any job market nation-wide.
Origins of PBSC:
PBSC began at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 1996 where the PBSC National Office is currently located. The National Office provides support and training for PBSC chapters at law schools across Canada. The program was launched at the University of British Columbia in 1998 with two main goals: to educate and instill a pro bono ethic in future lawyers and to serve communities in need.
Today there are 21 PBSC chapters at law schools across Canada. PBSC is also the world’s only national pro bono student organization. Check out the video below for more information:
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Sponsors & Partners:
PBSC is grateful for the generous support we receive from our funders and partners.