Pro Bono Students Canada

PBSC, McCarthy Tétrault launch business law internship for 1Ls


By Alyssa Manji – UofT Law News – December 19, 2011

PBSC, McCarthy Tétrault launch business law internship for 1Ls

Pro Bono Students Canada has piloted another exciting and specialized volunteer opportunity for the incoming first-year class at the University of Toronto. Together with its law firm partner McCarthy Tétrault, PBSC has created an internship for three exceptional students who are interested in business law and have shown a demonstrated commitment to the public interest.

As part of the PBSC-McCarthy Tétrault Public Interest Law Internship, the interns will work with partners and associates on the firm’s corporate pro bono files. Assisting with legal research and drafting, the students will have an opportunity to develop their own skills while providing critical legal services to several of the firm’s not-for-profit pro bono clients. Interns will also be invited to sit in on client meetings, participate in McCarthy Tétrault training programs, and meet other lawyers at the firm who have made pro bono a significant part of their practice.

Gordon Baird, a partner of McCarthy Tétrault and chair of its Pro Bono Committee, says “These outstanding interns will work closely with our lawyers to solve challenging business law issues faced by our pro bono clients. This is another example of how the partnership between PBSC and McCarthys provides unique opportunities for law students and makes a real difference in the community.” As with all PBSC programs, the goal is to expand the PBSC-McCarthy Tétrault Public Interest Law Internship to other chapters down the road, in this case, to law schools in cities that are also home to McCarthy Tétrault offices.

Few law schools offer specialized business opportunities for first year students. PBSC’s Nikki Gershbain, national director, worked closely with David Jachimowicz at McCarthy Tétrault’s Toronto office to develop the internship. They recruited 3L Alyssa Manji a former PBSC U of T coordinator, to serve as the volunteer coordinator on the project. The interns were selected in late September after a competitive process.

“The overwhelming interest for just three positions reflects the growing appetite for pro bono opportunities by the entire student body,” says Gershbain. “We’re just delighted that our message that pro bono is an obligation of every member of the profession – and of every law student – seems to be having an impact.”

The three student interns, Adam Curran, Michelle Jennett and Brendan Stevens, are looking forward to this opportunity.

“I am tremendously excited about this internship,” says Stevents, “as it will allow me to develop important legal skills I would not otherwise have honed in first year. Developing these skills, in concert with public interest work and learning about corporate law, is a truly amazing opportunity.” The interns have already begun their work on the firm’s pro bono files.