Among its many programs, the University of Toronto Faculty of Law administers the Donner Civic Leadership Fellowships and June Callwood Program in Aboriginal Law Fellowships.  These Fellowships give students the opportunity to do public interest work full-time during the summers.


India Annamanthadoo
Donner Fellow
Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) for the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS)

My Donner Fellowship allowed me to work with the Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) for the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS).  The CSM is the largest international platform for civil society organizations working towards achieving the eradication of food insecurity and malnutrition. As a Donner Fellow with the CSM, I helped to author a report assessing national implementation and violations of the right to food around the globe, which will be presented at the CFS in Rome this October.

Read all the 2018 experiences >>

India Annamanthadoo


Benjamin Miller
Donner Fellow
Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)

The Donner Fellowship allowed me to spend my summer working at Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO), a specialty legal aid clinic that publishes legal information and delivers legal education programming. As a Donner Fellow I led the development of a new section of their nonprofit law site, which answers common legal questions about starting and running a nonprofit in Ontario. I developed the site by systematically collecting, reviewing, and curating existing resources from government, non-profit, and private bar sources.

Read all the 2017 experiences >>

Photo of Benjamin Miller


Caroline Garel-Jones
Donner Fellow
Justice for Children & Youth (JFCY)

The Donner Fellowship allowed me to spend my summer working at Justice for Children & Youth (JFCY), a specialty legal aid clinic and children’s rights organization. As a Donner Fellow, I was able to participate in all aspects of JFCY’s legal work including: representing low-income child and youth clients on a wide variety of legal matters, producing public legal education materials, and engaging in test case litigation on child and youth rights issues. I assisted with interventions at the Ontario Superior Court and Court of Appeal on issues including children’s rights in parental custody proceedings, and youth privacy rights under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Read all the 2016 experiences >>

Caroline Garel-Jones in her office at JFCY

Caroline Garel-Jones in her office at JFCY


Jainita Gajjar
Donner Fellow
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

During my summer at CAMH, I was involved in both civil litigation and legal research. On the civil litigation side, I assisted in the preparation of hearings before the Consent and Capacity Board and drafted appellate documents, including motion materials and facta for the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and Court of Appeal. On the legal research side, I was involved in an initiative to develop a pilot project on a new clinical practice at CAMH ... The Donner Fellowship not only provided me with the opportunity to enhance my practical legal skills, but also allowed me to gain in-depth exposure to and experience in health law.

Read all the 2015 experiences >>

Jainita Gajjar, Donner Fellow, 2015


Chloe Boubalos
Donner Fellow

Law Society of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

Through an initiative called the Access to Knowledge Project, Boubalos is connecting with stakeholders across the territory, making the legal system more accessible and user-friendly to all of its residents.

"The justice system is very alienating for a lot of people who live here, because it's so removed from their day to day lives," she says. "The only courthouse in Nunavut is right here in Iqaluit. So the judge, counsel and witnesses will fly into a community and set up court in a gym or whatever kind of space they can get their hands on."

Read all the 2014 experiences >>

 2014 Donner Fellow Chloe Boubalos


Philip Chan
Donner Fellow

Industrial Accident Victims Group of Ontario

The Donner Fellowship allowed me to work with the Industrial Accident Victims Group of Ontario, a community legal clinic that undertakes representation, community education and law reform in the area of workers' compensation. I undertook essential legal and historical research for a s. 15 Charter age-discrimination challenge to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. It has been rewarding to work on a project with systemic implications for older injured workers, a particularly vulnerable group, and I look forward to continuing my involvement during the school year.

Read all the 2013 experiences >>

 Philip Chan


Emilie Lahaie
Callwood Fellow
John Howard Society

The Callwood Fellowship gave me the opportunity to work with The John Howard Society of Toronto, an organization that assists men who have been in conflict with the law. My role with the Native Inmate Liaison Officer Program included assisting with programming for Aboriginal men incarcerated at the Metro West Detention Center. To say experiencing the realities of incarceration and the struggles our clients face upon release to find housing, a job and fight addictions was eye-opening would be an understatement. I did not truly understand the incredible challenges those with a criminal record face on a daily basis. I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute my work to this amazing organization.

Read all the 2012 experiences >>

Emily Lahaie (left) at the John Howard Society
Emilie Lahaie (left) at the John Howard Society


Anna Cooper
Atira Women's Resource Society

"I join the chorus of past and present law students who say that you cannot underrate the importance of 'practical experience' during your time at law school.  Law in theory differs greatly from law on the ground and I found my experience with Atira reinvigorated and focused the rest of my degree…It was reassuring to find that my interest in legal research and argument was greatly invigorated by the existence of a real- life conundrum." 

Read all the 2011 quotes >>

PBSC intern Anna Cooper


Justin Basinger
West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL)

"Working at WCEL was fantastic. In addition to sharpening my legal research and writing skills, I benefited tremendously from spending time with aboriginal, environmental, and natural resources lawyers in a professional context. I really enjoyed the variety and unpredictability of working at a legal NGO. I am very intrigued by the important role the law and lawyers can play in public interest coalitions, and how a legal approach to a complex problem can often be the best one (or the worst)."

Read all the 2010 letters >>


Justin Basinger


Karenna Williams
Sour Springs Longhouse and the Haudenosaunee Standing Committee on Burials and Burial Regulations 

"My main focus this summer has been the repatriation of sacred false face masks from the Denver Museum of Natural History, the Denver Art Museum, and the Canadian Museum of Civilization.  In order to make a viable and effective claim for the return of the masks, I have been researching the use of the masks and their provenance, that is, how the institutions came to acquire them." 

Read all the 2009 letters >>


PBSC intern Karenna Williams


Erin Hallock
Refugee Law Office of Legal Aid Ontario

"I have learned an amazing amount about the law by immersing myself in it and taking on new and challenging cases. With the supervision, support and feedback of those at the RLO, I have gained confidence in my abilities and come to many realizations about the prospects for my future as a lawyer."

Read all the 2008 letters >>


Erin Hallock



Dwight Montgomery
June Callwood Program in Aboriginal Law Fellowship
Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto

"Assisting the Tenant Rights worker, I have been meeting with clients and helping them directly. I've negotiated settlements with landlords, and attended meetings with tenants and hearings at the Landlord and Tenant Board. This has been an excellent opportunity to develop hands-on experience with people who have real and pressing problems."

Read all the 2007 letters >> 

Callwood Fellow Dwight Montgomery (centre) with ALST staff members Shylo Summers (left) and Mandy Eason (right).



Emma Taylor
Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres (OFIFC)

"Working with the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres (OFIFC) this summer reminded me of the real and tangible effects of Canadian law on Aboriginal peoples."

Read all the 2006 letters >>

Emma Taylor

Emma Taylor


Leslie Newman
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper

"Working with Mark and Krystyn, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper's President and Executive Director, has been tremendous. Perhaps most valuable of all, it has reinforced my belief that individually and collectively we can make a difference in this world and the study of law gives us invaluable tools with which to do so."

Read all the 2005 letters >>

Leslie Newman on the Waterkeepers boat, the Angus Bruce, which is used to collect water samples from various parts of Lake Ontario


John Norquay
John Norquay
John Norquay
Refugee Law Office of Legal Aid Ontario

"My summer at the Refugee Law Office of Legal Aid Ontario has virtually cemented my intention to work in refugee and immigration law. My clients had tremendously varying backgrounds -- from those fleeing outright war, to those escaping from situations of domestic violence or state-sponsored homophobia. This variety really brought to light for me the current realities of refugee protection and the forces that motivate individuals to leave their countries of origin."

Read all the 2004 letters >>