Discovery House

Project Summary

Discovery House is a non-profit organization providing a continuum of care to women and their children fleeing domestic violence. Students on this project will deliver 6 legal information presentations to the Discovery House staff and their clients on topics including: emergency protection orders; parenting orders, child support and visitation rights; renting and domestic violence; immigration law and domestic violence; preparing for court proceedings; and how mental health and addictions can affect family law matters.

“The Discovery House Project is a great way to connect with an organization that truly benefits women and children in Calgary. I am so interested in this project because it provides an excellent opportunity to equip community members with important legal information in a way that is accessible and useful to those who need it most.”

Savannah Nielsen, 3L
Project Lead

Number of Students and Prerequisites

– 6 student volunteers and 1 project lead
– 1L students are strongly encouraged to apply
– No prerequisites required

Area of Law

– Family Law
– Immigration Law
– Court Procedure
– Landlord/Tenant

Legal Skills

– Delivery of legal information
– Public speaking skills
– Legal research and writing

Project Type

Public Legal Education Project

Timeline and Time Commitment

Student volunteers are required to conduct at least 1 presentation per semester. All presentations are 1 hour long and will take place on Tuesdays. The schedule is as follows:

– October 2020: Emergency protection orders
– October 2020: Parenting orders, child support, and visitation rights
– November 2020: Renting and domestic violence: Ending your lease early
– January 2021: Access to legal services as an immigrant or refugee
– February 2021: Preparing for court proceedings and presenting your case
– March 2021: How mental health/addictions can affect family law matters

The first 4 presentations will take place between 1:30-4pm (MDT). The last 2 presentations will take place between 4-6pm (MDT). Two student volunteers and one Project Leader will attend each presentation.

Student volunteers on this project are expected to volunteer from October 2020 to March 2021 (excluding December 2020). PBSC students are expected to volunteer 3-5 hours per week. Additional hours are at the students’ discretion. Overall, all PBSC projects are easily manageable alongside academic demands.

Required Training

All training for this project is schedule and provided by PBSC Calgary and the organization. This training will take place in September-October 2020, and will not conflict with students’ course schedules.

In addition to the training provided by the Discovery House, the following PBSC training sessions are mandatory to volunteer on this project:
– PBSC Process Overview
– PBSC Ethics and Professional Responsibility Training
– PBSC Anti-Oppression Training
– Westlaw Research Strategies Training
– Sexual Violence and Responding to Disclosures, presented by Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (CCASA)

Specific dates and times will be provided once volunteers are placed on their respective projects.

COVID-19 Contingency Plan

Student volunteers on this project will conduct all of their project-related work, training sessions, and meetings remotely for the duration of the project. The possibility of in-person work, training sessions, and meetings is subject to directives from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law and Alberta’s public health authority.

How to Apply?

Applications for the 2020/2021 year are now closed. The application deadline for the 2021/2022 cycle will become available August 2021.