2021 Summer Student Legal Placement Opportunities
The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) has openings for legal placement opportunities for the summer of 2021. Students will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience by working alongside staff lawyers and legal directors assisting in aspects of litigation, policy advocacy and communications campaigns.
The BCCLA is one of Canada’s leading organizations advocating for the protection and advancement of civil liberties and human rights. The BCCLA has been actively advancing human rights and civil liberties through litigation, law reform, community-based legal advocacy, and public engagement and education for the last half century.
In recent years the BC Civil Liberties Association has hired law students over the summer term. These placements were made possible through federal funding. We have no funding to continue this practice for 2021. While many students frequently offer to summer at the BCCLA “for free to gain experience,” we oppose the illegal practice of unpaid internships and believe in people being paid a living wage for their labour.
Because of this, we ask that people only contact us if they can secure a certain amount of funding from a third party (usually their law school). Recognizing how beneficial summer student placements are both for our organization and for law students, we are opening a call for law students to apply to collaborate with us this summer if they have secured external funding. We have the capacity to place two students.
The BCCLA has Living Wage Certification in Vancouver. As different funders have different amounts to offer to students, the term of the placement for successful applicants will be based on dividing the overall funding by the living wage for Vancouver ($20.90/hour). We would like to make this a meaningful placement for aspiring lawyers; we welcome students who can make a 10-12 week (at 35 hours a week) placement possible through their funding, with a tentative start date of June 2021. We estimate this requires $7315-$8778 in funding for the placement.
We realize that sometimes students need to be linked to specific deliverables to be eligible for funding. Please indicate if this is the case when sending us your materials.
- a student studying common law who has finished at least the first year of law school
- a demonstrated interest in civil liberties and human rights
- Funding must be confirmed prior to the start date of the placement and must be maintained throughout the duration of the placement
- Preference may be given to students located in Canada for the duration of the placement
What You Can Expect to Work On
Law students will be conducting case law and statutory legal research, reviewing legislation, drafting legal memoranda for litigation and law reform purposes, and helping in the preparation of public education materials that make the law more accessible and other projects as assigned. Placements at the BCCLA provide a valuable opportunity to be engaged in the work of social justice and public interest law, particularly in the areas of police accountability, criminal law, privacy rights, Indigenous rights, prisoners rights, democratic rights, and the novel and shifting legal landscape during the pandemic.
Application Process and Deadline
Please send us a cover letter and resume to be considered for one of these two placements. We may ask for applicants to forward copies of academic transcripts, writing samples and/or references later.
Please send your materials in PDF format to [email protected] by April 15, 2021.
We may conduct brief interviews shortly thereafter and will notify all applicants of the outcomes.
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 law students who are Indigenous, Black, racialized, immigrants and refugees, working class, and LGBTQ+to contact us for these placements. Students are encouraged to self-identify, should they feel comfortable doing so.
Placements are normally 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, placements will be performed remotely until distancing measures are lifted; a laptop and access to all required platforms will be provided. In-office work, if ever required, will comply with WorkSafeBC guidelines for in-office work during the pandemic.