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Social Justice Fellowships

The Windsor Law Alumni Summer Social Justice Fellowship Program is intended to support students interested in obtaining exposure to social justice advocacy in either a domestic or an international context and to enhance the capacity of future social justice lawyers to work towards the protection of human rights and the pursuit of social justice goals.  The Program is designed to enable the Fellows to experience enriching professional and intellectual opportunities.  Successful candidates will be designated as “Windsor Law Alumni Social Justice Fellows”. 

Fellowships, each in the amount of $5,000 CDN, will be awarded for international or domestic placements.  Fellows work at their placements for 35 hours per week for 10 weeks. The number of fellowships varies year to year but in recent years, we have granted 22-26 fellowships each summer. 

From 2005 to 2020, the Windsor Law Alumni Social Justice Fellowship Program has provided $583,500 in financial support to our Fellows. 

All Windsor Law students who are currently in their first or second year of study and who will continue their studies at Windsor Law in the coming academic year, are eligible to apply. Students will be notified by email of application details and apply for SJF positions here

 

Summer 2021 SJF Application Orientation Video

 

There are two ways to secure a host organization:

  1. Standing Fellowships:  Applying to spend the summer at an organization that Windsor Law has a standing fellowship with; we are in the process of finalizing standing agreements for Summer 2020 and will provide updated information as it becomes available; applications for these standing fellowships will require an application to the specific standing fellowship;
  2. Open Fellowships:  Secure your own fellowship placement:  The student’s own initiative will play a key role in obtaining a placement.  Students are encouraged to develop innovative fellowships in which they will learn about social justice work first-hand and through which the organization will benefit from their contributions.  In seeking a placement, students should consider how their summer fellowship experience fits within their academic work at Windsor Law and their future career aspirations. Applicants to the Open Fellowships will be considered for any of the named fellowships, without the need to apply specifically for a named fellowship. Three of those expected to be granted have been named:
  • Stitt Feld Handy Social Justice Fellowship in Africa
  • Bruce and Nancy Elman Social Justice Fellowship in Democracy and Governance
  • Dean’s Social Justice Fellowship

You can apply for both Standing and Open Fellowships, by way of separate applications. The Student Services Office maintains a directory of former placements and Experience Reports which may help identify organizations. You are also encouraged to visit www.psjd.org. You may also consult with Katie Behan, Social Justice Career Coordinator, in the Career Services Office for assistance in identifying potential host organizations here and abroad.

 

Selection Criteria

 

Applications shall consist of the following:

  1. Cover page indicating your name and student number;
  2. Letter of application (2 pages maximum, single spaced) describing the following:
  • Your interest in the Social Justice Fellowship Program and your reasons for applying;
  • How the Social Justice Fellowship Program relates to your future career goals;
  • Your relevant experience (including work or volunteer) and academic course work;
  • If applying to Open Fellowships, at least two potential placements that you would be interested in pursuing and the nature of the work that you would be engaged in (it is often helpful to attach information about the host organization and their fellowship program, if available);

       3. Résumé (2 pages maximum).

       4. Unofficial Undergraduate academic transcripts and, for upper-year applicants, unofficial Law School transcripts;

       5.The name, title and contact information for three referees;

       6. A legal writing sample of approximately 10 pages (double spaced).

 

Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Toronto, ON

Faculty Advisor: Reem Bahdi

Windsor Law and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) collaborate to offer a Social Justice Fellowship to one Windsor Law student to complete an internship of no less than 10 weeks with the Protection branch of UNHCR Canada during the summer term in Toronto. 

Tasks will vary according to agency need but may include written and oral advocacy on refugee protection issues, researching and writing reports related to refugee protection (a recent example was a report on asylum-seeker detention in Canada), and organization of events related to refugee protection advocacy. 

Preference will be given to students returning to their third year in the September following the Fellowship placement and who demonstrate interest in immigration and refugee law and policy. $5,000 CDN will be awarded for this placement. The successful applicant will be located in Toronto.

Fellows will be required to submit, electronically, an Experience Report upon the completion of their placement to their advising professor and to the Student Services Office.  Fellows are also expected to write a 10-12, double-spaced critical reflection paper on your experiences in the Social Justice Fellowship Program.

 

Spark LLP, Windsor Law LTEC Lab Social Justice Fellowship on Cyber Justice

Faculty Advisor: Wissam Aoun

The successful selected student will work on a summer project that will examine pressing social justice issues in cyberspace. More specifically, the student will conduct research in collaboration with Jeff Rosekat, Jacqueline Horvat, and their partners at Spark LLP on the state of the law in Ontario and other provinces in Canada on the unauthorized online disclosure of intimate or sensitive photographs, videos or other material, and eventually other cyber torts or crimes. The research project may include developing legal arguments for claims that would be eventually brought by victims of unauthorized disclosure of intimate or sensitive information (e.g., privacy, tort, copyright law), and considering various policy options to improve the legal protection of those victims (or of other cyber torts or crimes). The research project may also include conducting a survey and analysis of the literature pertaining to the delivery of legal services to victims of similar cyber torts or crimes (e.g. through legal clinics or pro-bono work). 

The selected student will produce research report(s) based on the research project scope to be mutually agreed to by the selected student, Jeff Rosekat, Jacqueline Horvat, and the Supervising Professor.  The student may also be required to produce fellowship experience report(s) upon completion of the fellowship. 

 

LCO Student Scholar Fellowship Program

The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) is Ontario’s leading law reform agency.  The LCO provides independent, balanced and authoritative advice on complex and far-reaching legal issues.  LCO reports are a long-term resource for policymakers, stakeholders, academics and the general public.  Through this work, the LCO promotes law reform, access to justice and public debate. More information about the LCO is available at www.lco-cdo.org.

The LCO’s current projects include:

  • AI and Algorithms in the Justice System.  This project considers the development, deployment, regulation and impact of AI and algorithms in the criminal and civil/administrative justice systems;  
  • Consumer Protection in the Digital Marketplace.  This project considers how to better protect consumers in Canada’s “digital marketplace,” including terms of service and “click consent” contracts; 
  • Restraining/Protection Orders.  This project considers how restraining/protection orders, peace bonds, bail conditions and probation orders can be improved to more effectively protect persons experiencing violence; and, 
  • Environmental Rights.  This project examines Ontario’s approach to environmental rights, including a review of the Environmental Bill of Rights and whether Ontario should legislate a substantive right to a healthy environment. 

The LCO recently completed projects on Class Actions and Defamation Law in the Internet Age.  

Students working with the LCO will contribute to law reform and legal policy development on these and other projects.  Students will undertake legal and policy research and will participate in a broad range of consultations and LCO activities.  

Students applying to work with the LCO should have strong research skills, excellent writing skills and an interest in access to justice, public policy and law reform.  Ability to read, write and/or speak French is an asset.  Students will be able work remotely.  

The LCO is located in Osgoode Hall Law School, York University in Toronto.

 

Debwewin Summer Program

Students are invited to consider a position in the Debwewin Summer Program. The duties of the two students chosen for this 13-week opportunity each summer will include research, consultation, working with community members, and conducting presentations, all within an Indigenous community framework. Select the link above for further details.

Open Fellowships


The student’s own initiative will play a key role in obtaining a placement.  Students are encouraged to develop innovative fellowships in which they will learn about social justice work first-hand and through which the organization will benefit from their contributions.  In seeking a placement, students should consider how their summer fellowship experience fits within their academic work at Windsor Law and their future career aspirations.  Applicants to the Open Fellowships will be considered for any of the named fellowships, without the need to apply specifically for a named fellowship. Three of those expected to be granted have been named:

  • Stitt Feld Handy Social Justice Fellowship in Africa
  • Bruce and Nancy Elman Social Justice Fellowship in Democracy and Governance
  • Dean’s Social Justice Fellowship

ADALAH-The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel

Aequitas: Prosecutors' Resource on Violence Against Women

African Canadian Legal Clinic

Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted

Barbara Schlifer Clinic

Botswana Network on Ethics, Law, and HIV/Aids

CCLA

CDN Civil Liberties Assoc CCLA

Center for Reproductive Rights

Centre for Child Law

Centre for Democracy & Development

Centre for HR and Adv. Legal Research

Centre for Policy Alternatives

Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland

Children's Org. of Southeast Asia

CLA - UN Development Programmes Justice System Programmes Justice System Programme

CLA/LAW

Community Justice Comm. & Mental Health & Social Services

Congolese Initiative for Justice & Peace

Cultural Centre for Ethnic Studies

Debwewin

Defence for Children International

Democratic Progress Institute

Diocese of London Refugee Ministry

Disaster Volunteers of Ghana

ECPAT/Canadian Lawyers Abroad

Eagle Canada

Ensaaf

Environmental Law Centre

Equitas Int'l Center for HR Education

FORUM-ASIA (Human Rights)

Great Lakes Environmental Law Clinic

Hamilton Community Clinic

Helsinki Citizens' Assembly

HR Commission

HR Legal Support Centre

Human Rights Advocacy Centre

Human Rights Centre

Human Rights Law Network

Human Rights Legal Support Centre

ICT for Former Yugoslavia

Instituto de Defensa Legal

International Bureau for Children's Rights 

International Criminal Court

International Criminal Court for Rwanda

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

International Justice Mission

International Justice Mission

International Labour Organization

Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions

John Howard Society of Ontario

Journalists for Human Rights

Justice for Youth & Children

Knowledge of the Laws of the Land (KNOLL)

Lawyers Without Borders

Legal Resources Centre

Legal Resources Centre: Constitutional Litigation Unit

Malaika Project - HIV/Aids programs

Media Institute of Southern Africa

Miami-Dade County Public Defender

Minority rights Group International

National Council of Canadian Muslims

Nisa Homes

OJEN

Ontario Justice Education Network

Organisation for Security & Co-operation in Europe

Our Children Africa, UNICEF

PACT-Ottawa

Pathways of Women's Empowerment-Ghana Hub: CEGENSA

Pivot Legal Society

Projects Abroad Human Rights Office

Ruth Ellis Center

Sancharika Samuha

Security & Cooperation in Europe

Sierra legal Defence Fund

SPGRM

The Arab Center for Human Rights in the Golan Heights

UN - Political Affairs Department

UN Int'l Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

UN Office on Drugs & Crime

UN Research Institute for Social Development

UNHCR

West Coast Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF)

Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF)

World Corps Kenya

World Health Organization

World Organisation Against Torture

World University Service of Canada

No credits. There is an opportunity to undertake a Directed Research project with your Faculty Supervisor, to earn 1-4 credits in the next academic term. Social Justice Fellows are encouraged to consider this option.

SJF Student Manual

SJF Critical Reflection Instructions

Withdrawal Policy

A Letter to a Student Interested in Social Justice

Remote Placement Lifehacks

Weekly Submission of Hours

Insurance Form

 

Fellowship Requirements:

  1. It is expected that placements will last for no less than ten weeks between May 1st and August 31st of 2021 and that fellows will be supervised, on site, in their legal or quasi-legal activities;
  2. Fellows will be required to submit, electronically, before 12:00 noon on Monday, September 20, 2021, an Experience Report upon the completion of their placement to their advising professor and to the Student Services Office.  In general, the Experience Report will be a reflection on the summer experience, including the Fellow’s evaluation of the host organization, a description of the work completed, any problems encountered, and suggestions for improving the experience in the future.  These reports may be made available as a resource to future Social Justice Fellow applicants.  Reports are expected to be 3-5 pages in length;
  3. Fellows are expected to write a 10-12, double-spaced critical reflection paper on your experiences in the Social Justice Fellowship Program, due before 12 noon on Monday, September 20, 2021, to both your advising professor and to the Student Services Office. Below are a series of questions to help guide your reflections and shape your paper. You do not need to answer every question or address every subject heading. You should feel free to add to the questions or topics as you wish, and to do some research if it helps you process aspects of your experiences. But rather than structuring your paper as a series of answers to the listed questions below, organize your paper into a single narrative, that is logically organized around themes. This is, after all, an academic paper, which requires organization and critical analysis of the themes you are exploring. Students should write in the first person. Citations, where necessary, are to be in McGill Guide format. Rather than spending significant amounts of time describing an incident, students should focus on their responses, reactions, and reflections. A paper that is solely descriptive does not meet the goals of the exercise, because description alone does not offer reflection and analysis.

 

Guiding Questions:

Reflection on bias and learning

  • What did you hope to gain from the placement?

  • What beliefs, ideologies, or assumptions did you bring to the work of your SJF?

  • What were three of the most important lessons you learned over the placement?

  • What would you have liked to learn and didn’t? How would you plan your next placement or experiential learning opportunity to supplement this experience?

  • What are the strengths you brought to the placement that served you well?

  • How did what you learn in your placement impact what you want to do in the future?

 

Reflection on work and supervision

  • What type of work did you do? Were you good at? What aspects could you have done better?

  • What mistakes did you make? How did you own up to mistakes? How did you plan to improve next time?

  • What went well with in your relationship with your placement supervisor? What could have gone better? What could you have done to improve your relationship with your placement supervisor? What could you do to be a good supervisor for others in the future?

  • What did you see your placement supervisor do that you admired and would like to emulate? What did you see your supervisor do that you would not like to integrate into your practice?

 

Reflection on access to justice and structural inequality

  • Thinking back on the Access to Justice course, what readings, topics or discussions were relevant in the work context? What became “real” about access to justice in your particular practice context?

  • More generally, how, and to what extent, did your class-based learning so far link or relate to what you have seen in practice?

  • From a policy perspective, did you notice any gaps in the law that became obvious during your experience (or the experiences of your clients)? What did you learn from clients and communities about critically analyzing the law that supplemented what you already knew or learned?

  • What were your clients’ expectations of the law? How did they understand what the law was, should be, and/or the concept of justice? What were they seeking, and how did that compare with what you consider justice to mean?

  • Were there institutional structures that impacted clients’ and communities’ engagement with law in a positive or negative way(this could be courts, workplace policies, non-profit structures, etc.)? What large-scale or macro systems impacted clients’ experiences? In your view, how could these be improved?

  • What did you learn about the role of the lawyer through your experience? Were you treated a certain way because of your training? What did you learn about the operation of professional power?

 

      4. Fellows may be required to write letters to Windsor Law alumni, whose gifts to the Law School helped to make the Windsor Law Alumni Social Justice Fellowship Program possible and to participate in an information session for future Social Justice Fellows during the following academic year.

 

For further information, please contact the Externship Director Gemma Smyth or Stacey Marion, Clinical and Experiential Learning Coordinator

 

 

You may also contact,

Katie Behan

Social Justice Career Coordinator

Career Services Office

 

 

 

 

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