Pro Bono Students Canada

PBSC Chapters


Every law school in the country houses a local PBSC chapter that is guided and supported by the National Office. Each year, about 40 law students from across the country are hired to run these chapters. These Program Coordinators develop projects, recruit volunteers, train and monitor students, hold PBSC events, and hire and transition their successors. Between 30 and 150 PBSC students at law schools from coast to coast volunteer at various partner organizations, working with diverse client-populations to assist these organizations’ legal needs. Each local chapter is also closely supported by National Office staff as well their local On-Site Supervisors. Please click on the school name to go to that Chapter’s website.

  • University of Victoria
    “By connecting with community organizations in the Victoria area, PBSC student volunteers develop a pro bono ethic while providing much needed services to marginalized communities, thereby increasing access to justice. I am proud to be part of this terrific organization.”
    - Richard Sobkiewicz, University of Victoria PBSC Coordinator 2009-2011
  • University of British Columbia
    "I found my PBSC placement at Atira Women’s Resource Society to be an incredibly valuable experience in gaining problem solving and legal research skills. I got to work closely with my placement supervisor who was a great mentor and source of support during the project. I also enjoyed spending time at the Atira offices every week learning more about how the organization worked and many of the challenges they face working with women in Vancouver’s downtown eastside. Volunteering with PBSC enabled me to pursue my passion of working with marginalized women while also developing my own professional skills"
    - Alex Russell, Former PBSC Volunteer and Program Coordinator
  • University of Calgary
    “Through PBSC, I have had the pleasure of working with talented and enthusiastic University of Calgary law students. Less fortunate Calgarians have been helped, students have learned what it is like to practice law, and lawyers have received welcome help and the energy that comes from working with young people.”
    - Douglas Yoshida, lawyer with McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Calgary
  • University of Alberta
    “I have no doubt that the demand for the PBLA-PBSC Duty Counsel project in Edmonton will continue to grow and grow. My last client said as he left at four pm: ‘I really had been losing faith in the legal system and did not think much of lawyers. You guys today really turned me around.’ Made my day!”
    - Brian Summers
  • University of Saskatchewan
    “My experience as a PBSC coordinator has shown me how much law students can do to support their communities and I am eager to see how our contributions as lawyers will influence access to justice in the years to come.”
    - Azure-Dee Farago, University of Saskatchewan PBSC Coordinator 2005-2007
  • University of Manitoba
    “I couldn't be more pleased with the work from our University of Manitoba PBSC student, drafting case briefs on new human rights decisions for our educational programs. I haven't had to change a word!”
    - Sarah Lugtig, former counsel, Manitoba Human Rights Commission
  • University of Windsor
    “Lawyers are in a position to provide a fundamental service that most people will be in need of at some point in their lives. There is a growing need for social justice, and the PBSC program instilled this notion in not only me, but the entire student body.”
    - Sonal Kulkarni, student, University of Windsor
  • University of Western Ontario
    “The PBSC and Ivey business students who worked with us through the PINSS (Pro Bono Ivey Non-Profit Support Services) project provided us with ample information and analysis to help us deal with the key decisions our Society must make over the next two years.”
    - Earle Taylor, Vice President, Great Lakes Blues Society
  • Osgoode Hall (York University)
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    “As a PBSC Osgoode student, I learned how to work with real clients, conduct effective legal research, and draft concise, persuasive facta. I was so impressed with my experience that I applied to be a Program Coordinator, and am now looking forward to creating these amazing opportunities for my classmates!”
    - Ye Xia, student, Osgoode Hall
  • University of Toronto
    “As a volunteer for the PBSC Tax Advocacy Project, I was able to use my legal training to assist real clients who needed our help. The process of meeting with clients and opposing counsel, researching legal issues, and organizing our case was a valuable learning experience, and the most satisfying part was getting a favourable result for our client, who was very grateful for our efforts.”
    -Taylor Cao
  • Queen’s University
    “Our family court—the biggest and busiest family court in the country—would not be able to function half as well without the assistance of the PBSC students.”
    - Justice Harvey Brownstone, North Toronto Family Court, Queen’s LL.B. 1980
  • University of Ottawa (Common Law)
    “Without seeming too corny or idealistic, it’s rewarding to know that my volunteer work with PBSC is furthering a cause which I believe can only be beneficial for all Canadians.”
    - Carl O’Brien, student, University of Ottawa (Common Law)
  • University of Ottawa (Civil Law)
    “PBSC teaches law students to become responsible members of the legal profession and to become lawyers who care about access to justice. It does so by helping community groups achieve their goals and meet their legal needs. CCLA could not operate without PBSC, and we are thankful every day for the support that we get from their students! ”
    -Nathalie Des Rosiers, General Counsel, Canadian Civil Liberties Association
  • McGill University
    “The practical experience that I obtained through my PBSC placement at a women’s shelter helped frame the law in a human context—something I was not getting from the classroom. Leases take on a whole new light when a woman is sitting in front of you with two children and no place to go after an unlawful eviction.”
    - Tiffany Boisvert, student, McGill University
  • Université du Québec à Montréal
    "Pro Bono UQÀM m'a permis d'acquérir des connaissances pratiques, surtout au niveau des litiges en droits de la personne. Mon engagement dans mon organisme communautaire m'a donné envie de poursuivre mon implication dans le droit d'intérêt public et pour l'amélioration de l'accès à la justice!"
    - Lili Dao, étudiante, Pro Bono UQÀM
  • Université de Montréal
    “My PBSC placement with the International Criminal Defence Attorneys Association gave me to opportunity to conduct research for a submission to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The experience really opened my eyes to what life as an international criminal lawyer is like.”
    - Kathrin Felicitas Peter, student, Université de Montréal
  • Université Laval
    “Pro bono is the soul of justice and the nobility of the profession.”
    - Justice Claire l'Heureux-Dubé, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, speaking to PBSC Students.
  • Université de Sherbrooke
    “La directrice de l’organisme portait une grande confiance en nous. Elle partageait ses moments de joie et ceux plus difficiles, elle se montrait communicative et nous faisait sentir que notre travail était grandement apprécié. Cette première relation professionnelle aura été agréablement et extrêmement enrichissante.”
    - Alexandra Archambault, étudiante, Universite de Sherbrooke
  • University of New Brunswick
    “The best part of the Family Law Legal Information Project (FLLIP) at UNB is that our clients get to sit with someone for up to two hours who actually spends the time explaining legal concepts. Having access to somebody who can explain a certain legal term or concept means a lot.”
    - Kathy Moulton, founder of FLLIP and University of New Brunswick PBSC Coordinator 2009-2010
  • Université de Moncton
    “The New Brunswick Environmental Law Society (NBELS) clinic is a valuable asset for law students in New Brunswick. Students seeking to gain practical legal experience could not find a better place to invest their time.”
    - Ève St-Laurent, University of Moncton PBSC Coordinator