What are the Fellowships?

Donner Civic Leadership Fund Fellowships, administered by the Career Development Office (CDO), have a value of up to $10,000 and are awarded to students who wish to work with public interest organizations during the summer (community-based, non-governmental organizations that have not had fellows in the past couple of years are preferred). In the past, many fellowships have been awarded to students participating in the PBSC program who wished to continue working at their placements during the summer.

During the summer, fellows must submit regular email reports and attend on-campus CDO program meetings. These fellowships are made possible through a generous donation from the Donner Canadian Foundation.

Interested applicants are highly encouraged to attend the Fellowship Information Session conducted during the school year. Previous Fellows will be on hand to share their experiences, clarify the application process, and to answer any questions that arise. The deadline for applications will also be announced during the session. 

Where have Previous Fellows Worked?

Previous Fellows have spent their summers at organizations such as:

  • Ontario Human Rights Commission
  • Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation
  • Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children
  • Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
  • Edmonton Community Legal Centre
  • South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario
  • Elizabeth Fry Society of Edmonton
  • Lake Ontario Waterkeeper
  • ARCH: Disability Law Centre  
  • Pivot Legal Society (Vancouver)
  • Social Justice Committee (Montreal)
  • Women's Legal Education and Action Fund
  • Refugee Law Office (Toronto)
  • Canadian Civil Liberties Association

Who Can Apply?

Donner Fellowships are open to students in all years who wish to work at any public interest organization in Canada. Fellowships will be awarded by the selection committee on the basis of:

  • the applicant's demonstrated commitment to pro bono and public interest law;
  • the merit of the host organization; and
  • the merit of the project (ie. discrete projects that will add value are preferred over assisting with ongoing work at an organization).

How to Apply

Provide the Career Development Office with the following:

  1. An up-to-date résumé;
  2. A cover letter describing your interest in the program and any relevant experience or coursework;
  3. A description of the project you intend to carry out over the summer signed by a member of the organization where you propose to work.  If the member of the organization is not a practising lawyer, your project description must also be signed by the lawyer supervisor, confirming that they can speak or meet with you bi-weekly during the fellowship term and as needed; and
  4. Information regarding your financial status (including your final UofT Law Financial Aid Assessment or an indication that you are not a recipient of financial aid).

For more information, contact Jordana Laporte at 416-946-3033 or by email at jordana.laporte@utoronto.ca.