Pro Bono Students Canada

Tax Advocacy Project

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Tax Advocacy ProjectPromotional photo showing a PBSC student volunteer assisting an individual n an office

The Tax Court of Canada Advocacy Project was developed in 2011 at the suggestion of the Chief Justice of the Tax Court of Canada, as a response to the significant number of unrepresented appellants appearing before the Court. The project enables law students under the careful supervision of tax litigators from Dentons LLP, to gain practical experience representing low-income taxpayers. Working in pairs to represent appellants in the informal procedure (claims under $25,000), students meet with their clients, gather evidence, prepare arguments, and appear before the Court. A supervising lawyer from Dentons is present during the hearing. This unique project enables students to take an appeal from inception to hearing, learning valuable client management, interviewing, and advocacy skills, while serving vulnerable, unrepresented litigants in an under-served area of the law. To ensure the success of the project, Dentons has developed a specialized, multi-faceted training program for the students, and provides an unparalleled level of oversight and guidance. The students also receive Carswell’s Tax Database training, and their placements are regularly monitored by the PBSC National Office and the local PBSC chapters. The Toronto project originally only included students from the University of Toronto, but is now run jointly with students from Osgoode Hall Law School. In 2012-13, Dentons and PBSC expanded this program to Québec, selecting two participating law students from each of Université de Montréal and McGill through a competitive application process. Using the project template developed in Toronto and with support from Toronto Dentons lawyers and the PBSC National Office, Dentons lawyers in Montreal supervise and work with students. In 2013-2014, the PBSC National Office developed a pilot of the project at Dalhousie, in partnership with McInnes Cooper, with the goal of becoming a long-term project in the future. For further information about awards, news and successful case outcomes, see the following link from Dentons website: http://www.dentons.com/en/whats-different-about-dentons/an-entrepreneurial-approach-to-pro-bono-and-social-responsibility/pro-bono-in-canada/tax-court-of-canada-pro-bono-project.aspx Go to the Tax Advocacy Project page and scroll to the bottom to read more recent Dentons articles. dentons_logo                                                                                                                                      

Student Training Materials

Advocacy

Self-Represented Litigants and Access to Justice

Tax Court of Canada Procedure

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