Young Lawyers International Program


Since 2002, the Young Lawyers International Program (YLIP) has placed more than 100 of Canada’s brightest young lawyers in internships with overseas legal organizations working in human rights and access to justice. YLIP interns have made important contributions to the development of human rights, constitutional reform and the rule of law in developing countries across Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.

Past interns have used their international experience to embark on exciting careers both in Canada and internationally in government, private practice, civil society, international organizations, academia and beyond.

The program has two objectives:

  • Supporting overseas access to justice and human rights legal organizations through professional contributions made by young lawyers under the Program.
  • Providing young lawyers at the threshold of their careers with international experience to help them obtain employment in international development and justice.

Internship Opportunities

2016-17 overseas internship opportunities under the CBA Young Lawyers International Program (YLIP)

The CBA’s YLIP received funding from Global Affairs Canada as part of the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy (YES), from 2015 to 2017. 

*Recruitment has closed for the last cycle. Please check back in spring 2017 for information about further opportunities.


CBA YLIP partners are national or international NGOs and professional bodies that respond to demonstrated needs in their countries and regions. Some partners focus on client service while others are more engaged in high level advocacy and policy making. All serve the needs of equality seeking groups. Current YLIP partners are listed below.


The full term of the internship is eight months. This includes a mandatory orientation and briefing session before departure, and a follow-up and consolidation in Canada following the placement. Interns commit to producing a minimum of 24 weeks of work for host organizations between September 2016 and March 2017 and have two weeks of vacation time, normally taken while host offices are closed for the holiday season. The total period abroad is approximately six to six-and-a-half months.

In special cases, the work cycle may be extended beyond the 26-week point, such as where a host organization is willing and able to compensate an intern for further work. Some interns have in the past found ongoing project work either with a CBA partner organization or with another organization in the country of placement.


The CBA matches interns with hosts. Skills, qualifications and interests of interns are fit with the needs of partners. Selected candidates will be invited to provide suggestions and preferences for consideration prior to final decisions. Note that the final placement decision rests with the CBA.


The Program assists in covering a proportion of living, accommodation, and health insurance expenses as well as covering full travel and visa costs to overseas placements. Interns are responsible for researching, preparing and budgeting for the cost of living in their placement locations.


Placements generally require a strong basis in English. French skills are also useful for three partner placements in South Africa. Other French language placements can be accessed through the Barreau du Québec and other organizations in Quebec and New Brunswick.

INTERN responsibilities To the CBA

Interns selected for the program are responsible for administrative arrangements including budgetary preparations, securing of accommodations overseas, health insurance, vaccinations, and visa applications. They are further responsible for preliminary substantive preparations prior to commencing work overseas. Interns are required to provide interim and final reports to the CBA during their internship, to participate in public engagement efforts, and to assist in advising future interns.

Readiness for a YLIP INternship

Overseas placements require qualities including a great deal of flexibility, proactivity and adaptability, as well as day-to-day diplomacy and budgetary savvy. An ability to listen, a sense of realism and a sense of humour are critical. Interns with these qualities, who are passionate and dedicated to gaining professional and life experience in often challenging overseas contexts, have the best chance of success.

Learn more about interns’ first hand experiences under the program and visit our Facebook page.  


Applicants must be qualified lawyers or graduates of Canadian law faculties with demonstrated interest and a measure of relevant volunteer or professional experience. Applicants must be at or below the age of 30. Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents and may not have previously participated in an internship under the Canadian government's Youth Employment Strategy (YES Program), of which this program is a part.


Applicants are asked to submit a letter of interest and CV (as two documents to Both need to be titled with the applicant’s last name and first initial (e.g. SmithJ.let and

The email subject line should follow this style: SmithJ, YLIP Application. Applicants are asked to detail volunteer and professional experience including specifics on access to justice or human rights, and to describe their interest in working in these areas.

CVs should also list three references: ideally one professional, one from a volunteer or educational organization, and one from a personal reference. Please include name, professional status, and telephone and email contact information.

Only shortlisted candidates are contacted following closing due dates. 


Internships for 2015-2017 included placements with the following organizations: