More than 50 students at Osgoode Law Hall School are hoping to make meaningful contributions to law firms, clinics and organizations through a non-profit initiative co-founded by York University alumna Davina Shivratan.
Together with her sister Nadia, Davina launched LawLinks to help match law students who want to volunteer their time with law firms, clinics and organizations that need assistance on a project. The idea was conceived in response to the difficulties facing law students and organizations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Davina, who just finished her JD/MBA at the University of Toronto, completed her BBA prior to law school at York’s Schulich School of Business; Nadia has just completed her first year of law school at the University of Windsor, and earned her BBA from the Lazaridis School of Business at Wilfrid Laurier University.
“We noticed that a lot of students had their internship opportunities disappear (due to COVID-19), so they have free time they are seeking to fill with productive experience,” said Davina. “Meanwhile, many small organizations may not have the means to take on new hires and still seek assistance for discrete projects. We started this non-profit initiative to help address this.”
LawLinks has matched law student volunteers on a wide range of projects including preparing research memos on an area of the law, updating fact sheets to reflect new legislative changes, writing articles and blog post on an area of the law and preparing public legal information materials.
To date, LawLinks has had more than 250 registered volunteers with 53 students from Osgoode Hall Law School. Five Osgoode students have been successfully matched, and there have been more than 50 matches to date. Volunteer work is assigned project-by-project so there are no long-standing commitments for either party.
“We are excited at the overwhelmingly positive response we have seen so far and look forward to continuing to help create opportunities by making connections,” said Davina.
LawLinks is actively looking for more projects that organizations might need help with. Those that have projects available can register it at www.LawLinks.org.