Pro Bono Students Canada

Megan Leslie – Former Coordinator

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In just five short years, Megan Leslie made the leap from PBSC student coordinator at Dalhousie University to Member of Parliament for Halifax. Serving the public and helping communities in need has always been her passion, and was part of what drew her to PBSC while at law school. “In my first year, I met students who wanted to be corporate lawyers,” she said at a Dalhousie speaker series event in 2009. “I wanted to get out there and be a part of the community. I wanted something different.”
 
At law school, Megan was a founding member of Dalhousie’s Social Activist Law Student Association. She also worked as a summer research student with Dalhousie Legal Aid. After graduating, Megan turned her passion and experience into a career as a comunity legal worker with the organization. She worked in numerous areas of poverty law, such as income security, consumer rights and human rights. Megan also developed the innovative Tenant Rights Project in Halifax, working directly with low-income members of the community to combat homelessness. Megan has received numerous accolades for her social justice work over the years, including awards from Dalhousie University, the Canadian Bar Association and the Elizabeth Fry Society.

“In my first year, I met students who wanted to be corporate lawyers,” she said at a Dalhousie speaker series event in 2009. “I wanted to get out there and be a part of the community. I wanted something different.”

The commitment to social justice that Megan displayed in her time with PBSC and Dalhousie Legal Aid continues to shine through in her efforts as an MP. She was first elected in 2008, winning the seat held by former NDP leader Alexa McDonough until her retirement from politics that year. Megan quickly made a big impression in both Halifax and Ottawa, earning the title of Best Rookie MP in a Maclean’s magazine poll of her colleagues. She is especially well known in the Halifax community as an advocate for the environment and lower power rates, and is a founding member of both the Affordable Energy Coalition and the Community Coalition to End Poverty. Megan also continues to fight for tenants’ rights and affordable housing. “This is why I ran federally,” she said before Parliament in 2009. “I wanted to be involved in creating a national housing strategy to create options for low- to middle-income Canadians to offer them just a little bit of dignity, because that is what this is about. It is about human dignity.”
 
Megan’s connection to PBSC has continued as well – on several occasions she has served as the keynote speaker at PBSC Dalhousie, addressing packed rooms of students about the importance of making pro bono a part of one’s legal practice. PBSC is proud to name Megan Leslie among its alumni, and looks forward to witnessing her achievements in the years to come.