Public Interest Articling Fellowships

The Law Foundation of British Columbia has established an annual budget of $240,000 to fund Public Interest Articling Fellowships (the “PIAF”s), for the purpose of

  • Providing an opportunity for articles at public interest non-profit organizations who otherwise would not have the resources to hire an articling student;
  • Improving the long-term sustainability of public interest organizations by expanding their capacity to pursue their public interest mandate, and introducing new lawyers to public interest work;
  • Increasing the likelihood that future members of the bar will engage in public interest work; and
  • Providing increased services to marginalized members of society.

Who May Apply?

Only an organization currently funded by the foundation as an on-track or continuing grantee that is not already receiving a law foundation grant to fund an articled student.

Applications from qualifying organizations, where a grantee proposes sharing an articled position with another foundation-funded organization may also be considered, and in this case the joint application will be assessed together, with one organization submitting the application on behalf of both.

Funding Available

PIAF grants are in the amount of $120,000, being $60,000 per year, over a 2 year period.  Grantees will be responsible for obtaining approval from the Law Society for hiring a law student.  The PIAF is not limited to law school graduates from UBC’s Allard School of Law, UVic Law School, or Thompson Rivers University Law School.

Application and Assessment Process:

The Law Foundation uses the SmartSimple online grant submission and management system. The SmartSimple Portal can be found at: https://lawfoundationbc.smartsimple.ca/

To be considered, please submit an application by 15 December, 2019.

Considerations will include the

  • Nature and scope of the work the articling student would do;
  • Impact the student’s work will have on the organization and those it serves;
  • Organization’s history of working with law students (pro bono students, summer students, articling students or otherwise);
  • Experience and capacity of the proposed principal and type of supervision contemplated;
  • Organization’s plan for the articling student to meet the Law Society’s requirements, including which practice areas the student will be involved in, and including any secondments or arrangements with law firms or other organizations; and the
  • Organization’s ability to provide a well-rounded articling experience, and whether any proposed collaboration between organizations will provide this.

Applications will be adjudicated In February 2020, by the foundation’s Fellowships & Research Committee.

Although it is not mandatory, we strongly encourage you to contact your foundation program director before submitting your application, to discuss the funding process and get assistance or feedback on your application.

Please note that the foundation is anticipating more applications for PIAFs than there are funds available, and submitting an application is not a guarantee of funding.