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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 6 – 12 fellowships. 

From 2005 to 2018, the Windsor Law Alumni Social Justice Fellowship Program has provided $443,500 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 SJFs here. There is an Application Orientation at 12:30 pm on October 21, 2020. You can Join Microsoft Teams Meeting by selecting this link at the time of the Orientation. Applications for the Summer 2021 SJFs are due on November 20, 2020. 

 

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) 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.

 

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 in the summer of 2019 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 September 2019 with a demonstrated 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

Windsor Law has partnered with the Law Commission of Ontario to offer four LCO Student Scholar Fellowships. Four Fellowships, each in the amount of $5,000 CDN, will be awarded. 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 2020-2021 academic year, are eligible to apply. Information about the Law Commission of Ontario and details of the current Projects are included below.

Placements will run remotely from Tuesday, May 19 to Friday, July 24, 2020, fellows will work at their placements for 35 hours per week for 10 weeks, and fellows will be supervised by the Law Commission of Ontario. Fellows will be required to submit an Experience Report (3-5 pages) and a critical reflection paper (10-12 pages) as directed.

 

The Law Commission of Ontario

The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) is Ontario’s leading law reform agency.  The LCO provides independent, balanced, and authoritative analysis and recommendations on complex and far-reaching legal policy issues. LCO reports have led to legislative amendments and policy changes, promoted access to justice, and contributed significantly to public debates surrounding important law reform issues. More information about the LCO is available at www.lco-cdo.org.

The LCO’s current projects include:

  • Digital Rights.  This project considers a range of law and technology issues, including AI and algorithms in the criminal and civil justice systems and consumer protection in the digital marketplace.
  • Last Stages of Life.  This project considers how the law shapes the rights, choices, and quality of life for persons who are dying and those who support them.
  • Indigenous Last Stages of Life.  This project is a distinct engagement process to identify and hear about Indigenous laws and experiences in the last stages of life. 
  • Protection Orders.  This project considers how restraining orders, peace bonds, bail conditions and probation orders can be improved to effectively protect women experiencing family violence.

The LCO also recently completed projects on Class Actionsand Defamation Lawin the Internet Age.  

Students working with the LCO have an opportunity to contribute to law reform and legal policy development on these and other projects. Students will undertake legal and/or policy research and may have an opportunity to participate in consultations, project advisory group meetings, conferences and symposia, and other on-going activities of the LCO.  Students may also be requested to do some administrative work.

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

Our office is located in Osgoode Hall Law School, York University (Keele Campus) 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

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.

Summer 2020 SJF Orientation Video

Summer 2020 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 Prof Tess Sheldon 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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