Civil Claims Duty Counsel

Project Summary

In collaboration with Pro Bono Law Alberta (PBLA), the Civil Claims Duty Counsel (CCDC) project provides summary legal assistance to self-represented litigants (SRLs) engaged in civil claims in Provincial Court. Students on this project assist volunteer lawyers with triage, client intake, and administering client evaluation forms. Students also provide research support, legal and referral information, and assist with the completion of required project documentation. All major Calgary firms participate in this project, thereby providing student volunteers with a great networking opportunity whilst also volunteering to improve access to justice for SRLs.

“CCDC provides law students with a practical education in client management and basic civil procedure as well as an opportunity to work with and meet lawyers.”

Jordan Kadach, 3L
Project Lead

Number of Students and Prerequisites

– 18 students and 1 project lead
– First year students are encouraged to apply
– No prerequisites required

Area of Law

– Civil Law
– Court Procedure

Legal Skills

– Delivery of legal information
– Client interviewing skills

Project Type

Court-based Project

Timeline and Time Commitment

Students will be scheduled for a 3-4 hour shifts every other week. All shifts will be scheduled at the beginning of each semester so students have an opportunity to plan in advance, and around their course schedules.

Students are expected to attend every scheduled shift. However, they are able to swap shifts as long as the PBSC Coordinator and PBLA Program Coordinator are aware and approve the change. Students can also cancel their shift in advance as long as your PBSC Coordinator and PBLA Program Coordinator are given sufficient notification. The possible shifts for CCDC are below:
– Mondays: 12:30pm-4pm
– Tuesdays to Fridays: 9am-12pm and 12:30pm-4pm

These shift times may be modified as part of PBLA’s Program Relaunch Plan. Any changes to shift schedules will be mutually agreed upon by the PBSC Coordinator and PBLA, and student volunteers will be notified accordingly.

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 PBLA, 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

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.