PBSC is a national access to justice organization designed to develop its members professional growth through meaningful and impactful volunteer opportunities, training sessions, and networking opportunities. Founded in 1996, PBSC has touched the lives of students, lawyers, and organizations throughout Canada. Without the support of student, lawyers, our community and funding partners and alumni, PBSC would not have the impact it has today.
For Law Students
As a PBSC student volunteer, you will gain valuable, hands-on, practical experience in the workplace through client contact, legal research and writing, or both! Not only do PBSC students receive specialized research training from Westlaw Canada every October, but they also benefit from the mentorship of a lawyer supervisor who oversees their work. Over ¼ of all Canadian law students participate in PBSC. By joining PBSC, you become part of a national network meaning you’re sure to rub shoulders with PBSC’ers in the future.
For Lawyer Supervisors
Since many organizations do not have their own lawyers on staff, PBSC is seeking lawyer supervisors interested in mentoring and supervising a student who is working for a community partner. Student projects range from creating plain-language materials and delivering public legal education programs, to doing client-intake and interviewing at legal clinics.
Lawyer Supervisors who contribute their legal skills and expertise to PBSC benefit a wide range of community associations, public interest groups, and legal clinics in the GTA. By supervising a PBSC student, you can make a significant impact on the lives of underrepresented and disadvantaged persons.
PBSC lawyers may qualify for up to 9 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits and up to 3 hours of Professional Responsibility Credit.
For Community Partners
PBSC utilizes a proven model for developing impactful projects that leverage PBSC's organizational strengths and law students' passion and energy. Our projects are designed to advance our community partners' strategic priorities and align with our access to justice principles. Projects are all legal in nature (not administrative) and are ideally clear and specific, with concrete and pre-defined deliverables.
PBSC deliverables vary depending on the needs of your organization and/or the project you require assistance with. Our students can:
research pending legislation, legal issues or current policy questions;
pro-actively monitor pending legislation, legal issues or current policy questions;
draft policies or manuals for organizations;
develop and deliver public legal education workshops and seminars to low and middle-income individuals; and
help provide legal information to the clients of partner organizations.
Unfortunately, PBSC volunteers cannot review, update or draft policy manuals and/or by-laws for not-for-profit corporations and charities. PBSC volunteers are also rarely in a position to deliver legal information or draft plain language resources in languages other than French or English.
If you would like to get involved with PBSC as a law student, lawyer supervisor or community partner, please visit our Chapters page to contact your local chapter.
Looking for other ways to get involved with PBSC? Sign up for our newsletter here to stay abreast of PBSC news, events and milestones. You can also make a
As a not-for-profit organization offering pro bono services to underserved populations, we rely on the generosity of our funders and supporters. Our work is made possible by you!
Additional Student Opportunities
In partnership with the Law Foundation of Ontario, the Public Interest Articling Fellowship (PIAF) Program was created to help respond to the public’s need for legal assistance and to help give law students valuable experience in public interest law. Students article on a full-time basis for a ten-month period. The program is open to students from every law school in Canada. For more information on PIAF, click here.