TORONTO, Jan. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - The Law Foundation of Ontario (LFO) is pleased to announce the host organizations at which it will fund Public Interest Articling Fellowships (PIAF) for the 2013/14 term. PIAF expands both the legal capacities of leading public interest groups, and the diversity of articling experiences available to students seeking admission to the Ontario bar.
"PIAF was a ground-breaking initiative when we launched it in 2005, and a program evaluation we commissioned last year confirmed its impact," said Mark Sandler, chair of the LFO's board of trustees. "Past PIAF hosts have told us that being able to hire an articling student makes a huge difference to their organizational capacity. And it's clear from the fierce competition for these positions that a lot of law students want to launch their careers along a public interest path."
Ontario-based non-profits and registered charities can apply to become PIAF hosts. They must have a qualified articling principal on staff, and must not otherwise have the financial ability to hire an articling student. LFO funding covers salaries, Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) licensing fees, and a stipend for out-of-pocket expenses associated with hosting an articling student.
Seven host organizations have been selected for 2013/14. They are located in both Toronto and Ottawa, and many have participated in the program previously. They are:
- Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (Toronto) - works to identify, advocate for and exonerate individuals convicted of a crime they did not commit;
- Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic (Toronto) - a counseling, legal, interpretation, information and referral service for women who are survivors of violence;
- Canadian Centre for International Justice (Ottawa) - works with survivors of genocide, torture and other atrocities to seek redress and bring perpetrators to justice;
- Canadian Civil Liberties Association (Toronto) - defends, extends and fosters recognition of fundamental human rights and civil liberties;
- Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (Ottawa office) - promotes human rights in housing and works to end housing discrimination;
- Lake Ontario Waterkeeper - works to restore and protect the Lake Ontario watershed by conducting research and through public education activities; and
- Public Interest Advocacy Centre (Ottawa) - provides legal and research services on behalf of consumer interests in connection with important public services.
The PIAF program is administered on LFO's behalf by Pro Bono Students Canada, a national law student program that provides legal services without charge to organizations and individuals in need. Host organizations select their students in accordance with an application process governed by the LSUC. Prospective student applicants should contact host organizations directly for more information.
The Law Foundation of Ontario helps people to understand the law and use it to improve their lives. It provides grants for access to justice initiatives, awards fellowships, and supports the practice of public interest law and professional excellence.
Law Foundation of Ontario