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 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 one week to respond to your inquiry.
1. Join Your Local LEAF Branch
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. Organize Events with LEAF National or In Your Community
At both the National and branch level, LEAF organizes key fundraising events. This includes an annual celebration of Equality Day. Equality Day celebrates the coming into effect of Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on April 17, 1985 – which is also the date on which LEAF was founded! 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 get in touch at [email protected]. If you’d like to get involved with events in your community, find your closest branch here and get in touch.
3. 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.
4. 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 the lived experiences of women and non-binary people. 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.
5. Join our Board
The Board of Directors is the legal authority for LEAF. As a member of the Board, a Director acts in a position of trust for the community and is responsible for the effective governance of the organization. The Board of Directors is accountable to LEAF’s funders for the services outlined in any contribution agreements or contracts. Our Board works closely with the Executive Director & General Counsel in a governance and strategic, but non-operational, capacity. LEAF invites community activists, lawyers, law students, academics, and anyone else who is passionate about gender equality in Canada to share your talents with us. When we are recruiting for new Board members, we will post a notice of New Board Member Recruitment on our News & Events page.