May 3, 2018 – Running for Justice

TORONTO – Run, jog, walk, or roll! Run Little Monkey and Pro Bono Ontario are launching the inaugural Run For Justice Virtual 7K race to raise money for PBO’s new Free Legal Advice Hotline.

PBO’s Hotline, which offers 30 minutes of free legal advice from volunteer lawyers to low-income Ontarians, has answered the call for more than 8,000 low-income Ontarians since its launch in September 2017. Powered by committed lawyer volunteers and a robust technological backbone, the hotline helps resolve up to 1,000 everyday legal problems each month that might not otherwise be addressed.

The virtual 7K race gives you tons of flexibility for training and completing the distance. There’s lots of time to train over the summer. Then, you and your teammates can do the race together along the route of your choice anytime during the race period of Sept. 8-23, 2018. It’s that easy!

Lawyers, judges, supporters of justice: Get a team together. Plan a route. Raise some money. Have some fun on the run. Share your fun pics of the event. Get yourself a groovy medal. That’s all there is to it!

To register a team or individually, visit: https://raceroster.com/events/2018/18025/run-for-justice-virtual-7k

Get ongoing details, route suggestions, updates on the race and share photos with us on the Run for Justice Facebook page: facebook.com/runforjustice7k

Follow us on Twitter @runforjustice7k

About PBO: One simple phone call can connect people with a lawyer, helping break down barriers to justice for low-income Ontarians who cannot access traditional legal services due to geography, disability, childcare obligations, or inflexible work schedules. PBO’s Free Legal Advice Hotline provides real legal advice and help drafting letters and court forms at no charge for people who have nowhere else to turn. probonoontario.org

About Run Little Monkey: Run Little Monkey is a Toronto-based startup that creates ego-friendly, luxuriously soft bamboo-cotton activewear with a Canadian flair and a social conscience. runlittlemonkey.ca

Contact: Gail Cohen [email protected]

 

November 27, 2017 – Pro Bono Ontario offers free legal advice over phone, Lawyers Daily

https://www.thelawyersdaily.ca/articles/5282/pro-bono-ontario-offers-free-legal-advice-over-phone

 

November 16, 2017 – Pro Bono Ontario launches telephone hotline, Legal Feeds

http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/legalfeeds/author/aidan-macnab/pro-bono-ontario-launches-telephone-hotline-14951/

 

November 14, 2017 – In-house counsel step up to support PBO’s innovative legal advice hotline

TORONTO – Ontario has a justice gap with more than 85% of everyday legal problems not getting resolved. Pro Bono Ontario’s new Legal Advice Hotline (1-855-255-7256) is here to help. It’s free, and a simple phone call connects people with experienced lawyers offering high-quality legal advice.

“PBO exists to address two indisputable facts: low- and middle-income Ontarians are desperate for legal help, and the legal profession wants to help,” says PBO’s Executive Director Lynn Burns. “The Free Legal Advice Hotline is the perfect way to respond to these realities. It is truly a giant leap forward on access to justice.”

Addressing Ontario’s well-documented access-to-justice crisis, PBO’s innovative new service fills a huge hole by combining legal advice with court form and document preparation to help people understand their options and take the right next steps.

For example, many Ontarians aren’t aware of even basic consumer protections they can use when dealing with pressure from door-to-door salespeople. The hotline has fielded many calls, particularly from seniors, who felt forced into signing contracts and didn’t know what to do. Volunteers can offer immediate solutions, including summary advice and drafting cooling-off letters.

State-of-the-art technology powers the hotline but its heart and soul are the volunteer lawyers who provide the advice.

“Often the people I speak with just don’t know where to start to address their legal problem”, says volunteer Connie Reeve. “It’s very rewarding to point them in the right direction and help them develop strategies to address their problems. Between the easy access for the public, the advanced but simple technology, and the support of PBO’s staff, I can’t think of a better way to give back.”

Any practising lawyer can help by volunteering as little as four days a year. The hotline covers a broad range of topics, so there’s a way to use every lawyer’s expertise and skills to give back to the community.

“Though it’s brand new, we are already seeing an outpouring of gratitude from the public and enthusiasm from the profession. Now it’s time to make it bigger and better,” says Burns in a call for more lawyers to volunteer their valuable skills and time.

In less than two months since its Sept. 11 soft launch, the hotline’s “just-in-time” service has helped more than 2,000 clients. Through technology and the commitment of volunteer lawyers, the Legal Advice Hotline is already providing direct assistance to more than 50 callers a day in the areas of:

• civil procedure;
• consumer law (debt, consumer protection);
• corporate law for start-ups, charities & non-profits;
• employment;
• housing; and powers of attorney (property and personal care).

Three quarters of inquiries are resolved with just a single phone call. Those that can’t be quickly solved are referred for additional brief services or full representation.
A study conducted by PBO this past summer shows its court-based services save the provincial government about $5 million per year. For every dollar invested in PBO, there is a $10 return on investment!

The free Legal Advice Hotline will have an even bigger impact both economically and on the lives of Ontario residents.

The Legal Advice Hotline is currently in beta testing. It will officially launch on Nov. 27, 2017.