The coronavirus pandemic has created difficulties for law students seeking to gain practical experience, says Nadia Shivratan, and a non-profit organization she co-founded hopes to help.
LawLinks connects volunteers with law firms, clinics, and organizations seeking assistance on specific projects — everything from case research to preparing summaries of legislative changes.
“I was finishing my first year of law school and a lot of my friends were losing their summer positions,” Shivratan says. “I noticed there was a gap that needed to be filled.”
She and her older sister, Davina Shivratan, who completed her final year at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, wanted to bridge that gap: “What better way to spend our time than helping our fellow students?”
Since its founding about three weeks ago, LawLinks has more than 275 student volunteers registered, and firms have submitted more than 50 projects needing their help.
“It is definitely mutually beneficial,” Nadia Shivratan says. “A lot of the firms want to pay back to the community by offering mentorship, and the students get to apply what they have learned.”
While the non-profit is a response to the pandemic, it may continue once the crisis has passed.
“There is certainly a need for it,” says Shivratan. “Students want to develop their skills and organizations are always seeking assistance.”