Pro Bono Students Canada, University of Ottawa (Common Law)
About Pro Bono Students Canada
Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC) is a national network of law students, community organizations and lawyers all working together to solve traditionally unmet legal problems. PBSC encourages students and legal professionals to volunteer in their communities to provide valuable pro bono legal services and access to justice to underrepresented and disadvantaged individuals, groups, and organizations. PBSC facilitates these efforts by matching volunteer law students with non-profit organizations, government agencies, legal clinics, lawyers working pro bono and other public interest groups to provide information in a legal context. All student work is supervised by a volunteer lawyer. With a chapter in 22 law schools in Canada, around 1600 PBSC law student volunteers provide about 130,000 hours of free legal services to various organizations each year.
PBSC's mandate is threefold:
- To train future lawyers by providing practical, supervised learning experiences for students;
- To increase access to justice for low-income individuals and non-profit organizations; and
- To promote a culture of pro bono in the profession
The University of Ottawa is unique in that there are two law faculties within one school. The Common Law section began its PBSC program in 1998 and the Civil Law section launched its PBSC program in 2004. Both programs experienced great success from the outset. Due to the program’s location in the capital, students have access to placements with an interesting range of non-governmental organizations and other not-for-profit organizations. To learn more about the Civil Law section, please visit their website.
The University of Ottawa's PBSC program operates during the school year, from October - March.