PBSC Family Law Project

PBSC’S Family Law Project (FLP) is an award-winning initiative that provides legal assistance to low-income clients in a high priority area of law.  Utilizing law students to support and enhance the work of LAO staff, duty counsel and advice lawyers, the program provides unrepresented litigants with legal assistance at courthouses in the GTA, and provides law students with the opportunity develop critical legal skills while learning about the court process, the practice of family law and legal aid lawyering.  Under the direct supervision of LAO duty counsel and advice lawyers, students assist unrepresented clients draft court documents and provide legal information. This position provides excellent experience in legal drafting, advocacy and client interviewing, along with unparalleled exposure to family litigation and civil procedure. 

How does the Upper Year Program work?

In collaboration with Osgoode Hall Law School, students are placed at three family courthouses (Brampton, North York or Toronto) to complete a 4-hour shift (morning or afternoon) once a week. Students work hand-in-hand with LAO lawyers, while interacting directly with clients to help draft court pleadings and other documents in preparation for trial. 

As volunteers you will:

  • Learn and practice skills applicable both in and outside of family law e.g. interviewing clients and legal drafting
  • Gain a clear understanding of how the court system works
  • Deal with concrete issues faced in the Family Courts

Time Line for Students




Submit Applications
Training Sessions: PBSC General Training, FLP-specific training (generally one full Saturday) and a substantive family law session


Start Volunteering at the Courts


Attend Community Building Event


Break for exams and holiday break


Recommence Volunteering at the Courts


Submit Evaluations
Attend Final Appreciation Event


Break for exams and summer break

How do I get involved?

If you are an upper year student and wish to get involved in the Family Law Project, please apply using the online Competitive PBSC Student Application Form, available here, being sure to fill in the Family Law Project section. Preference is given to students are currently enrolled or have taken Family Law. 

Applications are due on Friday, September 15, 2017 at 5PM

Please note that students must be available to attend a mandatory specialized training session on Thursday, September 28th from 12:30 to 2:00 PM and Saturday, September 30th, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Contact Information

University of Toronto Family Law Project Coordinator: 

Katie Gaboury


Family Law Project Ontario Coordinator:

Sylvia Basso


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

Luca Marescotti and Catherine Hart
Student Program Coordinators
E-mail: probonostudents.utoronto@gmail.com
Phone: 416-946-0397
Fax: 416-946-3744