Before Pro Bono Ontario launched in 2001, there was no tradition of organized pro bono in this province. Yet lawyers have always responded to our call whenever we asked them to address the unmet legal needs of vulnerable groups. They did so when we created a program to protect the education rights of school children (2002), when we created Canada’s first medical-legal partnership (2009), when we launched the province-wide Free Legal Advice Hotline, the first of its kind in Canada (2017), and when we leveraged that model to create dedicated hotlines for victims of Workplace Sexual Harassment (2020) and Ukrainians arriving in Canada as the result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine (2022).
Last year, Pro Bono Ontario served 34,000 low-income clients with nowhere else to turn. Together with our volunteers, we are working towards the goal of providing meaningful access to justice for everyone, which is what our fellow Ontarians need and deserve.