Support the Public Interest Law Clinic

In 2015, a generous philanthropic donation enabled the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law to establish the Public Interest Law Clinic. The Clinic engages in strategic litigation and advocates for legislative reform on public law and policy matters. Our work seeks to enhance government transparency and democratic accountability, public engagement in areas of public interest, and environmental protection.

Our Work

The Public Interest Law Clinic is a teaching program which provides students diverse experiential learning opportunities under the supervision of UCalgary Law faculty members and volunteer lawyers. The program is unique in that it is one of the only clinical programs in Canada that undertakes the full spectrum of litigation, legislative and policy reform.

Recent Clinic work includes:

  • Collaborating with partner organizations and volunteer lawyers to establish a consumer debt negotiation process for Albertans struggling with debt;
  • Representing a national environmental organization as an intervenor in a 2021 environmental impact assessment process concerning a proposed open pit coal mine in the Rocky Mountains; and
  • Serving as legal counsel for an applicant in a 2020 Alberta Court of Appeal decision which has significantly expanded the scope for public participation in environmental decision-making in Alberta.

The Clinic also represented an Alberta surface landowners association in their intervention before the Supreme Court of Canada in the 2019 Redwater case involving orphan oil and gas wells.

My time as an articling student with the Public Interest Law Clinic was a wonderful and dynamic experience. It provided me with the opportunity to work on a number of different legal matters, and greatly expanded my knowledge in the areas of administrative law, civil procedure, as well as in law reform, and ensured that I had a firm understanding of the ethical obligations we have as barristers and solicitors. I received excellent mentorship from not only the other lawyers in the office but from the incredible group of volunteer lawyers who also were involved with the Clinic at that time, ensuring that I had a large support network to ask questions to, to learn from, and had numerous opportunities to engage in interesting legal work throughout my articling experience.

Daniella Marchand


The Opportunity

The legal profession in Canada and around the world has entered a period of tremendous change. Lawyers in today’s markets need to possess a wider range of skills and knowledge than ever before, creating an increased need for articling positions laden with hands-on legal work and mentorship. With a proven track record of providing meaningful and complex legal work under the guidance of experienced lawyers, the Clinic is well-positioned to train up-and-coming legal leaders.

At the same time, the face of Canada’s legal profession is not currently representative of the rich cultural mosaic it serves – endangering its ability to meet the needs of diverse communities.

Catalyzed by these salient concerns, UCalgary Law endeavors to establish an ongoing articling position within the Public Interest Law Clinic, with priority in consideration given to UCalgary students from under-represented or equity-seeking groups. 

We believe that an outstanding educational institution is also a socially responsible one. Our engagement in the pursuit of social justice and commitment to diversity are essential components of our programming. By helping to establish an articling position in the Public Interest Law Clinic, you will help foster an inclusive and diverse justice system, equip burgeoning lawyers with a robust toolbox of legal competencies, and help facilitate the success of new lawyers and their ability to make meaningful contributions to our communities and profession.

The articling position at the Public Interest Law Clinic gave me an outstanding introduction to litigation. I was involved in drafting and editing submissions for a judicial review, preparing exhibits and affidavits, and reviewing material to prepare for the cross-examination of experts. The Clinic's articling student gets directly involved in the day-to-day work of litigation and appearing before administrative tribunals.

Drew Yewchuk

Drew Yewchuk


Join Us

We are seeking partners who share our vision for creating a more inclusive justice system – firms that want to make a tangible contribution towards diversifying and enriching the legal profession.

Want to learn more? 

Ainsley Grant
Director of Development
UCalgary Law

Shaun Fluker
Associate Professor and Executive Director, Public Interest Law Clinic
UCalgary Law