Description for Social Justice Articling Positions Funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario

Name and Location of Organization:

Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)

2-285 McLeod Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 1A1


For Articling Year: 2022-2023


Deadline for Application:     May 25, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. (EDT)

Interviews the weeks of:      31 May and if necessary, 7 June 2021

Offers will be made:             June 18, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. (EDT)


Description of Organization and Areas of Law:


The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) was federally incorporated in 1976 as a non-profit corporation and has charitable status for tax purposes. The organization’s purpose is to provide representation, research and advocacy on behalf of those elements of the public interest that would otherwise be unable to be adequately heard before courts, tribunals, and decision-makers. PIAC has tried to focus its mandate on issues arising from the delivery of important public services including telecommunications, broadcasting, competition law, energy, financial services, and transportation. PIAC seeks to represent and advocate on behalf of ordinary consumers, in particular vulnerable consumers, concerning the rates, policies, rules and regulations associated with the delivery of these services with a view to ensuring principles of access and affordability and fair treatment for the constituencies it tries to serve.

PIAC’s work takes a variety of forms. First, the lawyers of PIAC represent organizations whose membership serves our target constituencies before boards and tribunals where the industries delivering such services are regulated. These organizations include ACORN Canada, the Vulnerable Energy Consumers Coalition, the Consumers Association of Canada, the Ontario Society of Senior Citizens Organizations (OSSCO), National Pensioners Federation (NPF), Option consommateurs (OC), l’Union des consommateurs (UC), and Rural Dignity of Canada among others. PIAC’s most significant commitments for such representation occur before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) where PIAC lawyers are full participants in administrative proceedings including the presentation of evidence and the making of written and oral submissions.

Because the delivery of the public services touches upon consideration of other important legal and policy matters, PIAC has also developed expertise and is frequently involved in funded and unfunded work (approximately 20% of PIAC’s work is unfunded) representing its constituencies in competition law and practice, electronic commerce, privacy, multilateral agreements, and general issues of consumer protection.

PIAC carries out its work outside the hearing room in numerous ways. Its extensive studies and reports associated with the above are published and distributed to policy makers and the general public through its web site. PIAC staff participates in discussions with government officials, other industry stakeholders, other public interest communities, as well as groups representing its own constituencies to attempt to secure rights, rules, policies or consensus that will advance the interests of the communities that PIAC serves. PIAC frequently attends before parliamentary and legislative committees to pursue these same goals in legislation. Finally, PIAC’s staff are active in traditional and online media to present a coherent defense of those communities’ position when the delivery of important public services is in issue.

Description of Responsibilities:

  • Research and writing on legal and policy issues to support studies and reports of the Centre;
  • Research and writing to support regulatory interventions in tribunals;
  • Assistance and attendance with PIAC counsel for tribunal work, meetings with government officials and presentation before parliamentary committees;
  • Participation in discussions of advocacy strategy and position with Counsel and Centre clients

Salary/benefits: $51,000 for the articling term, Medical and Dental plus paid vacation

Application must include:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Undergrad transcripts
  • Law school transcripts
  • Letters of reference

Applications should be addressed to:

John Lawford

Executive Director and General Counsel

Public Interest Advocacy Centre

2-285 McLeod Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 1A1

Email to:

 **         Please note: We no longer accept faxed applications.

Students will be interviewed during the week of 31 May and, if necessary, the week of 7 June with a view to extending an offer on June 18, 2021 by ZOOM videoconference.

This position has been made available through

The Law Foundation of Ontario Public Interest Articling Fellowship program.  We thank the Law Foundation of Ontario for their support.