Legal Volunteer Opportunities

2020 Summer Legal Volunteer Opportunities for Law Students and Law Graduates

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association invites applications for the following summer opportunities. Law students and law graduates are welcome to apply.

**Please note that our summer volunteer and articling recruitment processes are distinct. Summer legal volunteers who may be interested in articling at the CCLA will have to apply through our normal articling recruitment process – and this is subject to CCLA’s receipt of funding for an articling fellow.**

Applicants should be aware that these positions are strictly volunteer opportunities for which the CCLA does not offer compensation of any kind. However, in some cases volunteers have been able to secure sponsorship of their work for CCLA through law school fellowships, or other externally funded sources, or have been able to obtain course credit through law school internships (if you are interested in doing so, please also see the special instructions below).

CCLA provides support to selected students seeking external opportunities, as relevant. Please note that volunteer spaces are limited and highly competitive, and the organization gives priority to those volunteers who have secured external funding, credit, or other opportunities.  If you are interested in doing so, please see general guidelines here as well as the Special Instructions below.

    CCLA will have several volunteer legal positions. Volunteers have the opportunity to engage in substantive legal work relating to CCLA’s ongoing advocacy efforts in civil liberties and human rights.  They work closely with the organization’s lawyers on a variety of projects. The work involves legal and policy-based research and analysis, as well as monitoring human rights and civil liberties issues. Other activities may include developing materials for the public on ongoing advocacy campaigns and current issues, organizing events, assisting in the preparation and running of CCLA’s (2-week) summer camp, and assisting in the development of advocacy letters, legislative briefs and litigation materials.

The CCLA has found that the organization and our volunteers benefit from a certain amount of stability, predictability and consistency in scheduling. Many volunteers choose a 4 or 5 day a week schedule. We are also happy to work with successful candidates to design a flexible schedule that will suit them and will accommodate other obligations, such as paid employment – however we do ask that volunteers commit to at least 16 hours per week, and a minimum of 8 weeks during the summer.

    The above opportunities are open to law students and law graduates. Applicants should be reliable, well-organized and self-motivated, with a demonstrated interest in civil liberties, human rights, and public policy. Strong writing skills are essential. Personal or professional experience working with non-governmental organizations is highly desirable. Bilingualism and the ability to read and write professionally in French is a strong plus.  CCLA is an equal opportunity organization, and is committed to diversity and inclusiveness in its practices. As such, if you are a member of a marginalized group, we invite you to self-identify.
  2. TO APPLY:
    Please include the following in your CCLA Legal Volunteer Application package:
  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Law school transcripts
  • NOTE: Reference letters are not required, but will be accepted.

The application deadline is 10 AM on Monday, February 10, 2020 – however if you are applying for a fellowship, internship, or other external opportunity, there are additional requirements and there may be a separate (earlier) deadline – please see below.

Please send your application package to: volunteer[at] with the subject line: “Summer Legal Volunteer 2020”

Special instructions for students seeking fellowships, internships, and other external opportunities:
Many students who volunteer with CCLA are able to obtain funding, fellowships, course credit, internships, or other external opportunities through their law schools or other outside sources. Many of these external opportunities have their own application requirements, including the support of CCLA for your application, and sometimes a project proposal or statement of interest. Please note that for fellowships that require the support of CCLA for your application, CCLA may choose to support more than one applicant for a particular fellowship.

If you are seeking or have obtained such an external opportunity, please send us a complete CCLA Legal Volunteer Application (containing the items noted above) with the following changes/additions.

  • Details for Project Proposal or Statement of Interest: If the external opportunity you seek requires that you include a project proposal or statement of interest, please contact Noa Mendelsohn Aviv (mendelsohnaviv[at] in advance for a list of possible projects and instructions.
  • Additional Materials: With your CCLA Legal Volunteer Application, please include:
  1.  A document entitled “External Opportunity” with the following information:
  • That you are seeking or have obtained an external opportunity
    • Basic information about the external opportunity (name of the fellowship, internship, etc; what kind of time commitment it involves in terms of work at CCLA; what will be required of CCLA as a supervising organisation over the summer)
    • The application deadline for the external opportunity
    • What you require from CCLA for the purpose of your application (e.g. a letter of support, sign off on a project proposal, etc.)
  1. A one page draft of your project proposal or statement of interest (note: this applies only if a project proposal or statement of interest is required as part of your external opportunity application).
  • Deadline:
    • If your fellowship or other external opportunity deadline is on or before February 21, 2020, please ensure that we receive your completed application to CCLA by 12 PM on Wednesday, January 29, 2020
    • The deadline for all other applications to CCLA is 10 AM on Monday, February 10, 2020
  • Subject line: Please send your application package to: volunteer[at] with the subject line: “Summer Legal Volunteer 2019 & External Opportunity”.

If you are a law student or lawyer seeking to volunteer outside of our summer recruitment process or with an urgent question, please contact Noa Mendelsohn Aviv at mendelsohnaviv[at]

For other volunteer opportunities please click here.

Please note:volunteer[at] is not monitored outside of our summer recruitment period (January – March).

Brenda McPhail
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