Lawyers' FAQ

What opportunities are available at PBSC?

Since many organizations do not have their own lawyers on staff, PBSC seeks lawyer supervisors interested in mentoring and supervising student volunteers. 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 one or more students whose skills and interests align with your case. Students can assist with responsibilities such as legal research and drafting.

What are the benefits of becoming a PBSC Lawyer Supervisor?

A few hours can make a big difference: Lawyer Supervisors who contribute their legal skills and expertise to PBSC assist 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 individuals facing barriers accessing justice.

The Pro Bono Tradition: PBSC conducts comprehensive surveying annually to assess the satisfaction of our partners and stakeholders. Last year, 92% of U of T PBSC volunteers surveyed reported that they planned to provide pro bono services once they graduated from law school.

By supervising a student, you help inculcate the values of dignity, equity and humility in the next generation of lawyers. You equip students with the skills and experience to break down barriers to justice as students enter practice.

Professional Development: PBSC lawyers may qualify for up to 9 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits. For more information, please visit the Law Society of Ontario's website.

What are the responsibilities of a Lawyer Supervisor?

PBSC student placements run from October to March, with a break in December for exams. While the exact responsibilities will vary based on the nature of the project and the students' skills, the general expectations of a Lawyer Supervisor are as follows:

• Summer: Over email, confirm that you are interested in participating in the project.

• October: Attend an introductory meeting with student volunteers and partner organizations to kick off the project. If needed, supervise student volunteers as they develop a work plan

• October to March: Provide guidance as needed for the duration of the placement. Review all student work for accuracy and be available to meet with students to provide feedback. Students should be given enough time to incorporate suggestions before submitting the final product.

November and March: Participate in two brief monitoring meetings (30 minutes) to provide feedback regarding the project.

• March: Complete an end-of-year survey to help PBSC improve its programming.

What is monitoring?

Monitoring is the means by which we check on our students’ progress and address any concerns. This consists of two brief meetings in November and in March. You will be contacted by phone and/or email by one of the U of T Program Coordinators and asked to set aside some time to discuss your satisfaction with the placement. Program Coordinators are also available throughout the year if any concerns arise outside of the monitoring process.

At the completion of the PBSC project in March, we also ask that each Lawyer Supervisor fill out a Lawyer Evaluation Form. The feedback provided on these evaluations is critical for the development and improvement of PBSC.

How are students matched to placements?

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

What does PBSC look for when selecting Lawyer Supervisors?

Our Lawyer Supervisors are passionate about supporting pro bono work and promoting access to justice. Every Lawyer Supervisor must be licensed in the province in which the Chapter operates. Lawyer Supervisors must also carry appropriate professional liability insurance that extends coverage to students working under their supervision. However, there may be some flexibility to this rule (i.e. in projects where there are multiple lawyer supervisors), so please contact us if you have any questions.

Lawyer Supervisors are recruited during the summer for placements that run from October to March (excluding December). Opportunities may also arise during the academic year. To get involved or to find out more, please contact one of our Program Coordinators by emailing We look forward to hearing from you!