Becoming a Client

In order to operate effectively and strategically, the clinic operates on a project basis – projects are selected in advance by the clinic’s advisory committee and then clients are accepted only if their file fits within the objective of an existing project. The clinic operates exclusively on a referral basis, and identifies potential files through outreach from the legal community, academic community, and civil society organizations.

Our mandate requires us to select projects that:

  1. Address systemic issues,
  2. Affect the disadvantaged or the environment, and
  3. Strengthen access to justice

The clinic only provides client representation on files that are able to advance the objectives of an existing clinic project and meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Litigation or law reform is a reasonable means of addressing the issue.
  2. The file could set an important precedent or generate legislative change on the public interest issue targeted by the project.
  3. The file is likely to succeed or is of high strategic importance.
  4. The Clinic has sufficient resources and expertise to effectively carry the file.
  5. The file will provide a useful learning opportunity for Law Clinic students.


If you are an individual litigant whose matter is relevant to one of our open projects, we recommend working with organizations and members of the legal community to determine whether your issue is broadly shared and can be addressed through the legal system. We cannot guarantee representation or timely responses to your queries. Contact with the clinic is not to be considered legal advice, and you remain responsible for all limitation periods in your matter. Please do not send us information without our prior agreement.

Important note

People and organizations do not become clients of PILC unless and until PILC agrees to act for them and that representation will be confirmed in a signed retainer agreement or retainer letter in accordance with our policies. Confidential information should not be sent to the clinic without prior agreement.