Osgoode Class of 2019 steps up to fund summer internships for students

From the moment Osgoode Hall Law School alumnus Rick Frank (Class of ’19) first learned of University of Alberta law Professor Peter Sankoff’s 100 Interns Project, he was hooked.

Rick Frank

Rick Frank

Frank knew he had to do something to support Sankoff, who is asking fellow academics and the legal community to help offset COVID-19’s devastating impact on law students’ employment opportunities by donating funds to place 100 interns across the country with mentors this summer.

What happened next is a credit to not only Frank, but the entire Osgoode Class of 2019.

“I reached out to the Class of 2019 Facebook group to see if there was any interest in putting together some of our collective ‘wealth’ and helping out our friends,” said Frank, a student-in-law at Cooper, Sandler, Shime & Bergman LLP.

“Some said they wanted to contribute, but they had lost their job. Some had their pay cut. Others had their articles abridged. But overall, the Osgoode student community did what it does best and that is to assist those in need.”

The Class of 2019 raised $950 for the 100 Interns Project.

Sankoff, who has devoted countless hours to the project, even to the point of working from his hospital bed when he suffered a brain hemorrhage, said the Class of 2019’s gift was “very touching to see.”

“It is the young people who understand the best the circumstances that students are experiencing,” said Sankoff.

Students who are placed through the 100 Interns Project will get 60 hours of work at $20 an hour. If a firm is paying for the intern, the person can work on any file. Otherwise, the students will be able to take on legal research, complete pro bono work or assist with legal aid.

As of the end of April, Sankoff had received enough funding to cover 80 positions including eight for Osgoode students.

Osgoode JD student Daniel Marin (Class of ’21) is one of the interns from Osgoode. He posted on Twitter that “I owe my summer internship to Peter Sankoff and the 100 Interns Project during a time where COVID-19 made it very challenging to find legal summer jobs. Feeling very grateful and can’t wait for Peter to reach goal.”

Donations are accepted via e-transfer to psankoff@ualberta.ca, with all contributions going to the 100 Interns Project.

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