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 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 such as Equality Day on a date close to April 17, celebrating the coming into effect of Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on April 17, 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, find your closest branch here and get in touch.
3. Office support
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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.