Social Justice Fellowships

The Windsor Law 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.

Fellowships funds will be awarded for international or domestic placements. Students should not otherwise be paid by the organization. Fellows work at their placements for 35 hours per week for 10 weeks.


Program Mandate

The Social Justice Fellowship program:

  • facilitates a sustained and rigorous inquiry into the contexts of socio-legal problems and oppressive dimensions of the law and the legal system, including dispossession, domination, colonization, subordination, privilege, poverty, and racialization and/or occupation, settlement, and conquest;
  • promotes and furthers an anti-racist, anti-oppression perspective where the central goal is to engage in transformative systemic change to ameliorate the lived experiences of marginalized people;
  • selects students from a pool of outstanding upper year candidates with a demonstrated commitment to anti-racism anti-oppression, and decolonization; and
  • requires students to satisfy a directed reading requirement (which can be viewed as part of their transnational/perspective options) with their faculty advisors once the fellowship is completed. Exceptions can be made with the approval of the SJF Committee.



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 recruitment due dates. 

S24 SJF Info Session

Eligible students apply for Social Justice Fellowships, indicating their preference for placements:

  1. Debwewin Summer Program
  2. Law Commission of Ontario
  3. Spark Law Professional Corporation
  4. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  5. Organization(s) of the student's choice, to be approved by the SJF Committee 


Applications to the SJF Program shall consist of the following:

  1. A one-page cover letter explaining your reasons for applying, your interest in the organization(s) selected, and how the program relates to your career goals. Highlight relevant work and volunteer experience, as well as applicable academic course work;
  2. Your resume, two pages maximum;
  3. The contact information for two references;
  4. Your undergraduate and Law School transcripts, unofficial transcripts will suffice.


If you are shortlisted for the Debwewin Summer Program:

  • You will submit an application form to the Indigenous Justice Division of the Misistry of the Attorney General
  • MAG will select the students who are the best fit

If you are shortlisted for another existing fellowship:

  • You can write a new cover letter directly to the organization
  • Your application information will be forwarded to the organization
  • You will have an interview with the organizaton
  • The organization will select the best fit of student

If you are selected for an open fellowship:

  • The SJF Committee will approve your placement organization
  • You will connect with the organization
    • Some organizations will have their own application for a placement with them
    • For others, you will write a proposal letter and, if accepted, arrange the placement directly



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.

Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH)

The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) is seeking fellows to help Haitians reclaim their democracy from internal repression and external interference. The profound challenges Haiti is currently facing - including gang violence, hunger, and closed hospitals and schools - are symptoms of a deeper crisis: decades of problematic foreign policies that have robbed Haiti of its resources alongside a Haitian government that has persistently dismantled the country's democracy with support from the U.S. government. These and other human rights violations are what we work to confront.

IJDH is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that has been promoting human rights in Haiti since 2004. In partnership with our Haiti-based sister organization Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), IJDH advocates, litigates, and nurtures networks of advocates to advance human rights in Haiti and to create systemic pathways to justice for marginalized communities, including by holding international actors

accountable. IJDH and BAI are at the forefront of confronting impunity for grave human rights violations and gender-based violence, strengthening Haiti’s justice sector, and promoting economic justice alongside accountable and rights-based foreign aid.

Student interns or fellows are fully integrated into our legal team and work alongside experienced attorneys in a fast-paced, creative, and exciting environment. They work across the full range of IJDH’s activities, including real-time advocacy in response to Haiti’s current crisis. Interns will work with and be supervised by IJDH attorneys and can expect to be asked to perform some or all of the following:  

  • Monitoring and analyzing human rights developments in Haiti, including with respect to justice sector function, women’s empowerment and gender-based violence, democracy and governance challenges, and drivers of insecurity; 
  • Legal research and analysis on a variety of international human rights law topics, including seeking justice for human rights violations by domestic and international actors such as the UN, international financial institutions, and corporate actors; occasionally there are opportunities for research under U.S. or Canadian law; 
  • Drafting legal and advocacy documents, including submissions to human rights proceedings in domestic and international fora, human rights reports, public advocacy documents, and submissions to corporate accountability mechanisms;  
  • Helping to develop IJDH’s legal and advocacy strategy, including through engagement with partner organizations and key stakeholders and collaborators; 
  • Outreach that engages international media and the public in IJDH’s legal and advocacy work, including drafting advocacy materials, talking points, and press statements, as well as contributing to social media communications; 
  • General project management support.  

This is a remote position with the possibility to attend certain conferences in person across the US.


Adayalaam Centre for Policy Research - Sri Lanka (ACPR):

ACPR is a not-for-profit research think-tank based in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, that works on human rights and accountability issues in Sri Lanka with a special focus on issues affecting the Tamil polity on the island. The mission of ACPR is to be an active contributor of informed and research-based activism, to report on public policy issues that are of special relevance to the North-East of Sri Lanka, to create internal capacity for autonomy and self-government in the North-East and to contribute critically towards justice, accountability and sustainable peace in Sri Lanka. 

Student responsibilities

Student responsibilities while on a fellowship at Adayaalam can include but are not limited to the following:

  • Supporting documentation of past atrocity crimes and ongoing human rights violations including in some cases, attending interviews with victims/witnesses 
  • Researching and drafting reports and briefings touching on international law, human rights, and socio-economic issues 
  • Researching and drafting submissions to UN treaty bodies, special rapporteurs and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Supporting with capacity-building work with victim-survivors communities 

We are looking for fellows who are Tamil speakers, although it is not mandatory

Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Candidates are encouraged to apply all the same. If the fellowship is unavailable, the SJF committee will endeavor to find a similar and suitable fellowship.

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 events related to refugee protection advocacy. 

Preference will be given to students returning to their third year in September following the Fellowship placement and who demonstrate an interest in immigration and refugee law and policy. The successful applicant will be working remotely with the office located in Ottawa.

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 and an Experience report on their experiences in the Social Justice Fellowship Program.

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 important legal policy issues.  Through this work, the LCO promotes access to justice, evidence-based legislation and legal policies, and public debate on important and topical law reform issues. 

The LCO’s current portfolio includes projects addressing AI and the Justice System, Consumer Protection in the Digital Marketplace, Improving Protection Orders and Environmental Rights. Recent reports include Accountable AI, Class Actions: Objectives, Experiences and Reforms and Defamation Law in the Internet Age.  More information about the LCO and its projects is available at 

The LCO recently completed projects on the Last Stages of Life, 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.   

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

Canadian 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


Community Justice Comm. & Mental Health & Social Services

Congolese Initiative for Justice & Peace

Cultural Centre for Ethnic Studies


Defence for Children International

Democratic Progress Institute

Diocese of London Refugee Ministry

Disaster Volunteers of Ghana

ECPAT/Canadian Lawyers Abroad

Eagle Canada


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 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


Ontario Justice Education Network

Organisation for Security & Co-operation in Europe

Our Children Africa, UNICEF


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


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


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.

SJF Student Manual

Weekly Submission of Hours

SJF Critical Reflection Instructions

Library Resources (video)

Withdrawal Policy

A Letter to a Student Interested in Social Justice

Another Letter to a Student Interested in Social Justice

Mental Health and Wellness at Windsor Law


Summer 2023 Fellowship Requirements:

  1. It is expected that placements will last for no less than ten weeks between May 1 and August 31 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 noon on Monday, September 23, 2024, an Experience Report upon the completion of their placement to their advising professor and to the Clinical and Experiential Learning Coordinator. 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 2-3 double-spaced pages in length;
  3. Fellows are expected to write a 3-5 (double-spaced) page critical reflection paper on your experiences in the Social Justice Fellowship Program, due before 12 noon on Monday, September 23, 2024, to both your advising professor and to the Clinical and Experiential Learning Coordinator. 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?



For further information, please contact the Clinical and Experiential Program Coordinator at





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