The dedicated work of our volunteers across the country is central to LEAF’s success. Volunteers govern the organization, serve on active committees, run our branches, help refine LEAF’s legal arguments, and act as counsel in LEAF interventions before the Supreme Court of Canada and other appellate courts. Volunteers also support LEAF’s annual events and play a crucial role in raising funds. There are many ways for members and friends of LEAF to get involved.
Please note that as a small organization, we do not always have the capacity to take on volunteers, and it may take up to 1 week to respond to your inquiry.
1. Join Your Local LEAF
LEAF branches run public education programs for youth, hold events on gender equality in their communities, and engage in law reform initiatives at the local level. Branches are largely volunteer run and are always happy to welcome new volunteers! Find your closest branch and learn more about local activities here.
2. Help Youth and Others Learn About Equality Rights
LEAF education programs educate and empower youth by teaching them about sexual rights, responsibilities, and the meaning of consent in law. The volunteers of a LEAF branch nearest you can provide more information about activities in your community.
3. Organize Events with LEAF National or In Your Community
At both the National and branch level, LEAF organizes key fundraising events such as Equality Day on a date close to April 15, celebrating the 1985 enactment of Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on April 15, 1985. Persons Day events occur on a date close to October 18. These events celebrate when Canadian women gained recognition as persons on October 18, 1929, and reflect on what “personhood” means in the present day. Branches put on other events throughout the year, and they are possible thanks to branch volunteers.
If you are interested in getting involved with LEAF National’s events, please fill out our volunteer application form here. If you’d like to get involved with events in your community, get in touch with your closest branch here.
Opportunities may arise for volunteers to assist at the LEAF National office. Prospective volunteers may provide support with a range of administrative tasks including database organizing and upkeep, filing, and material preparations among other duties. If you are interested in assisting the LEAF National office, please fill out our volunteer application form here.
5. Conduct Legal Research on Equality Rights
In order to intervene in court cases and build law reform positions, LEAF relies on volunteer lawyers and law students to conduct legal research. For this we are very grateful! If you would like to help with our legal work, please fill out our volunteer application form here. Please note that we have limited capacity to take on law students as interns or summer students – for internships, externships, or summer student opportunities, please visit our Employment Opportunities page.
6. Be a LEAF Pro Bono Lawyer
LEAF welcomes offers of assistance from pro bono counsel and firms. Once LEAF’s Board has approved a case for action, LEAF retains pro bono counsel. Once a lawyer is chosen and retained by LEAF, they work with a case committee comprised of volunteer legal academics, legal practitioners, and community organizers, as well as LEAF legal staff. Together, and under the instruction of LEAF’s Executive Director and General Counsel, the pro bono lawyer(s) and the case committee develop the legal theory and argument in the case, draft submissions, and prepare documentation for the court. The pro bono lawyer(s) will go to court to argue the case. If you are interested in being a pro bono lawyer for LEAF, please fill out this application form.
7. Be a Case Committee Member
LEAF’s interventions are guided, informed, and supported by a case committee composed of academics, practitioners, and community organizers with expertise in the relevant issues. LEAF case committee members work closely with LEAF staff and pro bono counsel to develop the legal theory and argument in the case. This ensures that LEAF’s arguments are grounded in both feminist legal theory and women’s lived experiences. If you are working in any of our issue areas, please consider sitting on one of our case committees. If you are interested in sitting on a LEAF case committee, please fill out this application form.
8. Donate to LEAF to Help Advance Gender Equality in Canada
A gift to LEAF will help advance the substantive equality rights of women and girls in Canada through litigation, law reform and public education. Your support will help us continue to work on issues like gender discrimination, access to reproductive healthcare, maternity benefits and spousal support, and prevent the use of myths and stereotypes in sexual assault cases.
With a donation today you will join other supporters who wish to bring about real change in women’s lives. Your financial support will ensure that we can continue our legal interventions, law reform, and legal education, and work towards ensuring the law guarantees equality for all people.
Our work is only possible with the generous support of donors like you!
You can make a donation or sign up to become a monthly supporter. If you’d rather donate by cheque, or start a monthly direct deposit, you can mail to 180 Dundas Street West, Suite 1420, Toronto, ON M5G 1Z8. For more information, please contact Megan Cameron, Fund Development Manager, at 416-595-7170 Ext. 2004 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for making a donation today!