Law Student with Coding / Data Science Skills

The Refugee Law Lab has part-time research assistant positions available for current law students at any Canadian faculty of law (JD or graduate level) who are considering careers at the intersection of AI and legal practice and who have advanced professional coding or data science skills.

The Lab has several ongoing projects related to open-source legal analytics in the refugee law field. The projects use data about Canada’s refugee determination process scraped from online sources, apply various NLP and LLM tools to extract useful information and analyze the data, and present insights from that data in accessible formats to assist refugee lawyers appearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board and the Federal Court.

If you have advanced professional coding / data science skills that could assist with these projects and you would like opportunities to explore leveraging those skills to help legal practitioners in advancing the rights and interests of refugees and other non-citizens, let’s chat about how we might work together.

Examples of sought-after expertise:

  • Data scraping / data wrangling using Python (Pandas, BeautifulSoup, Selenium, Playwright, Scrapy, etc).
  • Working with LLMs using Python (Langchain, OpenAI, HuggingFace, PyTorch, etc)
  • Natural Language Processing using Python (RegEx, SpaCy, Scikit-learn, etc)
  • Data labeling using Python (Prodigy, etc)
  • Data analysis and visualization using Python (Pandas, Numpy, Matplotlib, Seaborn, etc)
  • Back-end development and databases (RestAPIs, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, etc)
  • MLOps and DevOps
  • Experience with Advanced Research Computing or Research Data Management platforms provided by the Digital Research Alliance of Canada
  • Lived experience with forced migration or being a member of an equity seeking group is an asset

Context: The Refugee Law Lab, based at York University’s Centre for Refugee Studies and Osgoode Hall Law School, is devoted to research and advocacy related to new legal technologies and their impact on refugees, other displaced communities, and people on the move. We develop datasets and legal analytics that enhance transparency in refugee law processes. We study and critique the use of artificial intelligence and other technologies by governments and private actors in the migration field. And we produce legal technology that advances the rights and interests of refugees and other marginalized people on the move. We are committed to social justice, to interdisciplinarity, to evidence-informed policy, and to ensuring that the data, research and technologies that we produce are freely accessible to the public. We strive to work from a community-based perspective, foregrounding the lived experiences of people on the move and their interactions with technology.

Place of work: remote

Salary: Current JD student: $25/hr; Current graduate student: $40/hr (both hourly salaries inclusive of vacation pay)

Time Commitment: Negotiable.

Eligibility: Current (or incoming for Fall 2023) JD or graduate student at a Canadian faculty of law. Must have professional coding / data science skills.

Application Deadline: Open until filled.

Application process: Apply online with a CV, electronic copy of unofficial transcripts, and a brief cover note describing your interest in the position.