Applications Open

CELL 2023 Spring Cohort Applications Open

Applications Open

Public Interest Environmental Litigation Program
2023 Spring (January-March) Cohort – ENROLMENT NOW OPEN (Deadline Extended)

Join law students from across Canada in CELL’s public interest environmental litigation program. Immerse yourself in active litigation with experienced legal teams. Learn how to develop and run complex litigation files and think like a litigator. Our program benefits any law student keen on gaining hands-on litigation experience before graduation and in doing work for public interest clients.

About CELL

The Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation (CELL) is Canada’s only national environmental charity dedicated to advancing legal education in the public interest setting. CELL’s mission is to train and inspire Canada’s next generation of public interest environmental litigators. Over the past 6 years more than 150 students, hailing from virtually every Canadian law school, have completed our program. Learn more about CELL and its student program in our recently published special edition newsletter, Climbing Higher.

Program Description

CELL’s program provides law students with opportunities to reflect upon and develop the legal toolkit necessary to be advocates in complex litigation. Students will join a team of law students from law schools across Canada to work with our instructors and lawyers from other partner law firms on a variety of public interest environmental cases.

Through weekly seminars, students learn about litigation through a variety of active cases. In previous terms, students have learned first-hand about Canada’s only national, youth-led climate lawsuit La Rose v. Canada in which fifteen young Canadians are suing the federal government for its contribution to the climate emergency. CELL students were also closely involved in the defence of the first environmental SLAPP suit to be litigated since the enactment of B.C.’s anti-SLAPP legislation. This past summer, in collaboration with CELL, Tollefson Law and Gratl & Company successfully secured dismissal of the lawsuit which targeted a B.C. conservationist and an ENGO with 144 counts of defamation. Most recently, this fall, CELL students assisted Tollefson Law with an application seeking a ruling that confirms the continued existence of common law riparian rights to water quality in the context of a water pollution claim against a B.C. municipality.

These active cases serve as learning vehicles to highlight evidentiary, procedural, and ethical issues that arise. Through weekly seminar workshops, you will learn how to think critically about how to bring and carry a piece of complex litigation. We will explore such questions as: How do I develop a legal strategy for the case? What kind of evidence would be needed to support the legal strategy? How do I obtain such evidence? How do I manage and work with clients? How do lawyers collaborate in a large legal team? What ethical and professional conduct issues should I be aware of when running a complex litigation file?

“CELL was a formative experience during my time at law school. I developed invaluable legal skills through my exposure to ongoing cases and engagement with novel and complex legal questions. CELL also shaped my long-term career goals. I can’t recommend CELL enough.”

— Michaela Aeberhardt, CELL 2022 spring and 2020 fall cohorts

“Through CELL, I was able to expand my substantive knowledge on several areas of law not covered in the first-year curriculum. More importantly, I was able to connect with like-minded peers across Canada and have knowledgeable instructors and student mentors that encouraged sharing ideas and facilitated group discussion. CELL made my semester a much more memorable and worthwhile experience.”

— Eric Shapiro, CELL 2022 spring cohort

“It has been a fantastic opportunity and I can truly say that it has been a highlight of my legal education.”

— Aimee Huntington, CELL 2011 fall cohort

Application Process

Law students interested in applying for CELL’s 2023 spring (Jan.-Mar.) cohort should send their application package (download the application form here) to no later than end of day Fri., January 6, 2023 (extended from December 30, 2022). There will be a short interview for shortlisted candidates. Completion of upper year courses in environmental law and law of evidence is an asset. Applicants must be available to attend weekly seminars held on Monday afternoons (Pacific Time) during the Jan.-Mar. 2023 term, with precise time to be determined. The first session will take place on January 16, 2023.

If you have any questions or want more information about CELL and its program, please contact Anthony Ho, Program Coordinator, at


Updated: January 2, 2023

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