Employment Opportunity: JD RA (Law & Tech)

Part-Time JD Research Assistant in Law & Technology (F21/W22)

The Refugee Law Lab is looking to hire a part-time law student research assistant with a background in computer science, software engineering, data science or statistics to assist on several computational law projects, including a legal analytics app being developed by the Lab with funding from the Law Foundation of Ontario. The position is open to students at any law school in Canada.

This is an ideal opportunity for a law student who is interested in pursuing a career in the bourgeoning field of computational law that leverages both their legal training and their other technical skills, while also working to advance the rights and interests of refugees and other displaced people. The successful candidate will join a diverse interdisciplinary team that includes people with legal training and people working in technology related fields. The Lab is committed to making technology and datasets available on an open-access basis to enhance access to justice. We use open-source technologies were possible. And we are committed to carefully considering the ethical, political and legal implications of our innovations.

Time: Flexible (approximately 5-10 hours per week during the Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 term, with no work expected close to examination periods and other busy times)

Location: Refugee Law Laboratory (Virtual)

Pay: $25/hr (inclusive of vacation pay)


  • Must be a current law student at any law school in Canada (any year)
  • Must have a degree in computer science, software engineering, data science, statistics, or related disciplines

Precise tasks will depend on the skillset of the successful candidate, but they may include:

  • Helping to build and administer the Lab’s data gathering processes, including web scraping and digitization of paper-based court documents
  • Designing and overseeing processes for human annotation of legal documents for training and verification datasets
  • Developing and applying NLP entity recognition and text classification models for court documents and decisions relating to immigration and refugee law
  • Using data visualization strategies to communicate insights from quantitative data about refugee law decision-making
  • Optimizing code used in the Lab’s projects for efficiency, stability, and security
  • Assisting with cloud computing architecture for Refugee Law Lab datasets, APIs, and the legal analytics application that we are developing

Mandatory qualities sought:

  • Programming skills in Python
  • Interest in the intersection between law and technology

Qualities that are assets but are not required:

  • Experience with web scraping
  • Experience with data annotation
  • Experience with NLP (including entity recognition, text classification, redaction, summarization)
  • Experience with data visualization
  • Experience with cloud computing (including Azure)
  • Ability to read in French
  • Applicants with lived experience with migration and applicants from equity seeking backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply

Application Deadline: 8 November 2021

Application Process: Apply here with a CV, unofficial transcripts, and a brief cover note describing your interest in the position.