Lawyer Supervisors are an integral part of Pro Bono Students Canada, because without them, the program could not exist. All work by student volunteers must be reviewed prior to submission to the organization to ensure its thoroughness and accuracy. If you are a lawyer in the Toronto area, please consider becoming involved.

What opportunities are available for partnering with PBSC?

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.

Alternatively, if you are working on a pro bono file and would benefit from a dedicated and highly-motivated law student volunteer, PBSC may be able to match you with student to help perform legal research and drafting, and who corresponds to the skill and interest requirements for your case.

What are the benefits of becoming a PBSC Lawyer Supervisor?

A Few Hours Makes a Big Difference: 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 student at U of T, you can make a significant impact on the lives of underrepresented and disadvantaged persons.

The Pro Bono Tradition: PBSC conducts a comprehensive survey annually to assess the satisfaction of our partners and stakeholders. Last year, 88.2% of PBSC students surveyed mentioned they planned to provide pro bono services once they graduated from law school, and 60% identified PBSC as having an impact on this decision. By supervising a student, you help to instill a culture of providing legal services “for the public good” in the next generation of Canada’s lawyers.

Professional Development: 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 more information please visit: CPD Requirements FAQ 

Are there any other responsibilities as a Lawyer Supervisor?

Lawyer Supervisors are responsible for assisting student volunteers to develop a work plan in October, and for providing guidance as needed for the duration of the placement. They will review all student work for accuracy and should be available to meet with students to provide feedback. Wherever possible, students should be given enough time to incorporate suggestions before submitting the final product. Lastly, we ask that all PBSC partners including Lawyer Supervisors be available for monitoring during November and March, and fill out an end-of-year survey to help PBSC improve its programming.

What is monitoring?

All PBSC programs are closely monitored by our Program Coordinators and Volunteer Coordinators. Monitoring occurs every November and once again in March, and is the means by which we check on our students’ progress and address any concerns. You will receive a phone call and/or e-mail from one of the U of T Program Coordinators and should commit to setting aside a few minutes to discuss your satisfaction with the placement.

To this end, we also ask that each Lawyer Supervisor fill out a Lawyer Evaluation Form at the completion of the PBSC project. The feedback provided on these evaluations is critical for the development and improvement of PBSC at the University of Toronto.

How many hours will it take to supervise a student?

Our program runs from October to March, and we take a break in December and April for final examinations. The commitment required of a mentor is minimal. The total commitment over the course of the placement can range from 6-10 hours.

How are students matched to placements?

Students are matched based on their experience, skills, and interest in a particular placement. The program is very competitive and acceptance is based on the student’s demonstrated interest, and ability to meet professional deadlines and produce high-caliber work.

How can I get involved?

Lawyer Supervisors are recruited each summer for placements that run the duration of the academic year. To get involved or to find out more, please contact us below for the 2018-2019 school year.

Please note that all lawyer supervisors must be LawPRO insured with coverage extending to student volunteers working under their supervision.

For more information about our national program, please visit our website at: 

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

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