PBSC (Pro Bono Students Canada) is a national organization with chapters at 21 law schools across Canada. PBSC provides students with volunteer opportunities in our communities, to work on valuable legal projects across the city under the supervision of top-notch lawyers.

What are the benefits of joining PBSC?

As a PBSC student you will gain valuable hands-on practical experience in the work place 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.

I’m an LLM or combined program student (JD/MBA, JD/MSW, etc.). Can I participate?

Absolutely! PBSC invites all students at the Faculty of Law to apply for a placement that suits their interests, even if it is their year "away" from the Faculty of Law. 

What types of projects can I do?

There is a wide variety of legal projects that students can get involved with. While many PBSC partners are long-standing and maintain projects year to year, each summer the Program Coordinator develops new and exciting projects for the upcoming year.

You can a descriptive list of the general PBSC placements here and a descriptive list of the competitive PBSC placements here

Previous years' projects include:

  • Preparing and presenting public legal education and legal information
  • Providing assistance to counsel in legal proceedings or administrative hearings
  • Researching legal issues and preparing legal memoranda
  • Drafting manuals, policy papers, and submissions
  • Preparing cases for pro bono lawyers
  • Lobbying and advocating on behalf of organizations or clients
  • Conducting initial and subsequent client interviews and intake

Where could I be placed?

PBSC constantly strives to fulfill its mandate by expanding the program into areas of law where we have identified communities in need of pro bono legal services. Just a few examples of the fantastic organizations that we worked with last year are listed below:

  • Ontario Human Rights Commission
  • Canadian Civil Liberties Association
  • The 519 Church Street Community Centre
  • Centre for Equality Rights and Accommodation
  • African Canadian Legal Clinic
  • Health Professions Appeal and Review Board
  • Pro Bono Law Ontario

How much time do I have to commit?

Students make a commitment to volunteer for 3-5 hours per week, and to attend two mandatory lunchtime session: a general training session and a Westlaw Canada training session. We will feed you, we promise!

Will PBSC interfere with my exams?

No. PBSC placements do not run during December and April. Your PBSC commitment should not get in the way of studying for exams and your academic success. Manage your time efficiently and don’t take on too much. Be good to yourself!

What does my detailed timeline look like?



September 6 at 12:30pm

September 7 at 12:30pm

September 15 at 5:00pm

September 19

September 20

September 21 

September 22

September 26 or 27th 

Attend the UY Information Session in the Jackman Law Building, Room J125

Attend the 1L Launch in the Jackman Law Building Moot Court Room, J250

Submit your application for any project you are interested in 

Offers for competitive positions are made

Additional offers for competitive positions are made 

Offers for non-competitive positions are made 

Additional offers for non-competitive positions are made 

Attend one mandatory General Training Session (two options)

Late Sept. - October

October 18 or 24 at 12:30pm


Submit Work Plan and begin work at Placement

Attend one Westlaw Training Session (two options) mandatory for all new PBSC students and UYs on research projects.


Attend Community Building Event 


Complete Mid-Year Evaluation
Break for Exams


Placements start again 


Complete Project/Final Deliverable by March 23, 2018
Complete Year-End Evaluation
Attend Final Appreciation Event at McCarthy Tétrault's Toronto Office


Break for Exams

How do I get involved?

If you are applying to a specialized placement, be sure to read the individual project webpage. The online Competitive PBSC Student Application Form is due on September 15, 2017 at 5PM This application will consist of submitting a CV and brief cover letter (300 words) for that project. Please direct any questions to the Volunteer Coordinator assigned to the project, where applicable. Please note that you can apply for both the general and specialized placements- if you are selected for a specialized placement, we will remove you from the general application pool.

For all other projects, submit an online General PBSC Student Application Form and a resume to the U of T Program Coordinators by September 15, 2017 at 5PM . Once we have received your application form, the U of T Program Coordinators will contact you to set up a project.

If I have questions, can I contact you?

Of course! If you are interested in a project that has a Volunteer Coordinator, contact them directly as they will have the most up-to-date information. If you have general questions about the program, don`t hesitate to contact Ellie and Greg, the U of T Program Coordinators, using the information below.

Contact Information

For general inquiries about the PBSC University of Toronto Chapter, please contact the Program Coordinators:

Greg Drozdzal
U of T Summer and School-Year Program Coordinator
Pro Bono Students Canada

Ellie Minchopoulos
U of T School-Year Program Coordinator
Pro Bono Students Canada

Email - probonostudents.utoronto@gmail.com