Pro Bono Students Canada

PBSC’s U of T Chapter Launches Two Innovative Pilot Projects!


Pro Bono Students Canada has piloted two exciting volunteer opportunities for University of Toronto students with an interest in either business law or tax law.

Alyssa Manji, PBSC Volunteer Coordinator, poses with Brendan Stevens, Michelle Jennett and Adam Curran, this year’s McCarthy Tétrault Interns

Together with our 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 are now working with partners and associates on the firm’s corporate pro bono files, providing critical legal services to several of the firm’s not-for-profit pro bono clients.  A staggering 49 first year law students applied for three internships, reflecting the growing interest in pro bono opportunities in more mainstream areas of practice.

Pro Bono Students Canada has also teamed up with Dentons (formerly Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP) to create the PBSC-Dentons Tax Court of Canada Pilot Project.  Under the supervision of Denton’s tax lawyers, six U of T students will represent low-income litigants on a pro bono basis in the tax court. This is the first pro bono tax advocacy program of its kind in Canada, taking its inspiration from a course offered at Laval University by Professor André Lareau, who also happens to be the On-Site Supervisor for the PBSC-Laval chapter.  The pilot project was developed at the suggestion of the chief justice of the Tax Court of Canada in response to the “significant number of unrepresented appellants appearing before the court.”  As with the Public Interest Internship, PBSC received 25 applications from upper year students for six placements.  Dentons (formerly FMC) also recently started a Tax Blog where U of T students will guest blog on topics relating to their placements.  The pilot was recently awarded a Lexpert Zenith Award for its contribution to corporate social responsibility and legal education.