Much of Innocence Canada’s core work is carried out by a very large team of dedicated volunteers. Volunteers who are either currently assisting us or who have assisted us in the past are:
- Lawyers (primarily criminal lawyers)
- Legal professionals (e.g., paralegals)
- Law students
- Graduate students
- Undergraduate students
Innocence Canada currently has numerous volunteers working in the following capacities:
- Case reviewers
- Office volunteers
- Fundraising activities
Innocence Canada case reviewers are practicing or retired lawyers who are assigned one or more Innocence Canada cases to review. They work within the Innocence Canada case review structure and provide reports at each stage of the case review process to allow decisions to be made about the next steps in the case.
Innocence Canada office volunteers are assigned to various ongoing projects according to their skills and interests.
If you are a lawyer in Canada and are interested in assisting Innocence Canada with the review of client cases, please send a detailed letter outlining your relevant experience, any reported cases and publications which you worked on, as well as two references to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a law student who would like to volunteer with Innocence Canada, please send your resume with a cover letter to email@example.com.
If you are not a legal professional or a law student but would like to get involved with Innocence Canada, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We typically have a large number of volunteer applications and cannot always immediately find a placement for everyone. For this reason, we will be unable to respond to each volunteer request individually. We will keep your application on file and when appropriate volunteer opportunities arise, we will contact you.
We encourage all applicants to continue their interest in innocence work and the exoneration of the wrongfully convicted – please keep in touch with Innocence Canada through our website.
As a Summer Student at Innocence Canada, you’ll live and breathe wrongful conviction. Murder files, client interviews, trial transcripts, disclosure review, legal research, case analysis – you name it; it’s all in a day’s work for the Innocence Canada summer team. During my summer with Innocence Canada, I worked on multiple murder files and researched a variety of important legal issues that arose in the course of my casework, all under the careful supervision of a talented and close-knit team of lawyers and wrongful conviction professionals. In my 12 weeks as a Summer Student, I learned as much about criminal law as I had in two years of law school. But even beyond the knowledge and experience it afforded me, most gratifying of my summer experience was the sense of reward that I derived from my casework. As a Summer Student with Innocence Canada, your efforts play a direct role in rectifying real injustice, and there’s never a dull moment when you’re “fighting the good fight”!
– Loren Klein (Law Student, Osgoode Hall, York University)
The fallibility of our justice system is central to work as a criminal appeal lawyer, and I’ve volunteered for AIDWYC [now Innocence Canada] for many years. My experiences reviewing cases and working with the wrongly convicted through AIDWYC have been incredibly rewarding. AIDWYC’s lawyers and staff are inspiring examples and they’re always welcoming and helpful to new volunteers. I’d encourage any lawyer or law student to get involved in AIDWYC’s vital work.
– Michael Dineen (Innocence Canada Case Reviewer and member of the Case Review Committee)
Why do I volunteer for AIDWYC [now Innocence Canada]? Whenever anyone claims to have been wrongly convicted, it is important for that person to know that they are not alone and hope is not lost. I became a case reviewer for AIDWYC to offer that hope. It is extremely stimulating, rewarding, and gratifying work.
– Bob Upsdell (Innocence Canada Case Reviewer)