Joe Arvay Summer Law Student Internship

Position title: Summer Law Student

Start and End Dates: May-August 2023

Hours: 40 hours/wk, (35 hours with a daily paid lunch hour)

Compensation: $24.08/hr

This position is generously funded by the Joe Arvay Legacy Fund, established by the University of Victoria Faculty of Law to honour the incredible work of the late Joseph Arvay, QC – one of Canada’s leading constitutional lawyers.

About the BCCLA:

The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) is a non‑partisan, not‑for‑profit national leader whose mission is to promote, defend, sustain, and extend civil liberties and human rights. The BCCLA is the oldest and most active civil liberties and human rights group in Canada. The BCCLA has been advancing human rights and civil liberties through litigation, law reform, community-based legal advocacy, and public engagement and education since 1963. Though we are based in BC, our work is national in scope with legal interventions and law reform advocacy across Canada.

The BCCLA focuses on the relationship between people and the state, and the ways in which the state can limit or advance human rights and liberties. The BCCLA’s work pays particular attention to the needs of vulnerable individuals and oppressed communities, who would otherwise have difficulty getting redress for violations and limitations on their rights.  With a mandate that includes work on police accountability, government transparency, freedom of expression, prisoners’ rights, patients’ rights, privacy rights, surveillance and national security issues, immigration detention, and criminal legal reform, we are one of the most vibrant and visible advocacy groups in Canada. The BCCLA is a small team with a big reach, and we want you to be a part of our work.

About the Position:

Under the supervision of BCCLA staff lawyers, this placement will enable you to use your emerging legal knowledge and skills to contribute to the policy and litigation work conducted by the BCCLA, with the aim of defending and enhancing civil liberties and human rights across Canada. The placement will expose you to various files that the BCCLA is managing and enable you to support the organization in a multitude of ways.

This position is based at our office in Vancouver at #306-268 Keefer St, on unceded Indigenous lands belonging to the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlil̓wətaʔɬ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil Waututh) nations. In light of COVID-19, this position will work partially in-person, in in compliance with WorkSafeBC guidelines for in-office work during the pandemic, and partially remotely. Access to all required platforms will be provided, we kindly ask that students make us of their own laptop during the placement. The BCCLA is aware short-term relocations can be costly; the possibility to fulfill this position fully remotely is available upon request.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Conduct legal research and analysis and draft memoranda on various civil liberties issues.
  • Identify and evaluate cases for potential interventions.
  • Assist in work on BCCLA test cases, both ongoing and in development.
  • Research policy positions for the BCCLA for informational and analytical purposes and/or to provide recommendations.
  • Conduct research and writing to support policy submissions to various bodies

(usually legislative and parliamentary committees) or other decision makers.

  • Present preliminary research outcomes to staff and/or board, identify gaps and further information or expertise needed.
  • Assist in drafting policy-related complaints related to privacy and police oversight.

Skills Required:

  • Analytical thinking
  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Passion for civil liberties and human rights issues
  • Lived experience or professional experience working on issues related to BCCLA’s mandate

Application Process:

Applicants for this position must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law. Please submit a resume, cover letter, and brief writing sample (5 pages max)* in one combined PDF via email to [email protected] by 11:59 pm on Monday, May 1, 2023.

This position is open to all upper year JD and JD/JID students. Graduating students are not eligible for this funding.

*Please submit an existing writing sample. We do not recommend or require students to provide a new piece for this purpose.

The BCCLA is committed to ensuring that equity, diversity, and inclusion are priority considerations, including in building a workplace that honours the particular experiences and expertise of communities marginalized through state violence and social oppression. The BCCLA strongly encourages applications from all qualified candidates including Indigenous students, racialized students, 2SLGBTQIA+ students and students with disabilities. Applicants are invited to self-identify in their cover letter and to share how their lived experience would inform their work in this position.