Pro Bono Students Canada

The Campaign for Family Justice

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Most people will experience a separation or divorce, a child custody dispute, or a family property issue at some point in their lifetime.  Despite the complexity of the family law system and the great importance of the issues at stake, the majority of family litigants do not have a lawyer to represent them and have no real understanding of their rights and responsibilities.

Fortunately, PBSC’s Family Law Project is there to help!  This multiple award-winning project trains law students to assist vulnerable Canadians with family law matters.  It is a collaborative, efficient and cost-effective initiative, launched in Ontario in 1997.  As of 2016, PBSC has Family Law Projects in 14 cities, mobilizing approximately 160 student volunteers per year to serve over 2,400 clients and complete more than 3,500 legal forms.

The Campaign for Family Justice was launched in October 2013 with a $650,000 goal.  Funds were needed to preserve and expand this vital access to justice project.  Under the leadership of Campaign Chair Philip M. Epstein Q.C., L.S.M., the Campaign for Family Justice reached its goal.  PBSC could not have achieved this success without the leadership of our Chair and the generosity of our supporters — thank you all so much!

PBSC also acknowledges the generous support of Legal Aid Ontario who funds the Family Law Project at 8 courthouses in Ontario, and the Law Foundation of Ontario’s Access to Justice Fund which supported an expansion and evaluation of the Family Law Project.

The access to justice crisis in family law continues, and therefore so does the Campaign for Family Justice – Phase Two!  In order to continue providing unrepresented family litigants with legal information, document preparation and greater access to the justice system, we need to maintain our student programs across the country.

Please donate to Phase Two of the Campaign for Family Justice.  Your tax-deductible gift will:

  • allow us to continue providing critical services to unrepresented litigants, so that they can participate in family law proceedings with increased knowledge, confidence and dignity;
  • help the courts run more efficiently and achieve improved outcomes;
  • assist to train and inspire the next generation of family lawyers; and
  • support us to participate in long-term problem solving with respect to access to justice in Canada.

 

“Our family court – the biggest and busiest family court in the country – would literally implode without the assistance of the PBSC students.  Everything should be done to save this program.”

– Justice Harvey Brownstone, Ontario Court of Justice

“Without this program I would have been lost. The forms I needed to fill out overwhelmed me. I didn’t know what information the court needed or how to present my case.  I don’t qualify for legal aid based on my income level, but there’s no way I could have afforded a lawyer.  My children and I thank you so much for your help.”

– Angel Robinson, Family Law Project Client

“The best decision I made in law school was to volunteer with PBSC.  The program made me a better person, and will no doubt make me a better lawyer.  I assisted clients who could not read or write, victims of domestic violence, and people with absolutely no family or community support.”  

– Katerina Svozilkova, PBSC Family Law Project Coordinator and Volunteer

THANK YOU to our Campaign for Family Justice supporters, including our lead donors:

  • Epstein Cole LLP
  • Philip M. Epstein Q.C., Campaign Chair
  • Peter Gilgan, Mattamy Homes.
  • DivorceMate Canada

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Firms and Associations

  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC-Ontario)
  • Baker & Baker PC
  • Bales Beall LLP
  • Ballantyne Yates LLP
  • Bombardieri Family Law
  • Crowe Soberman LLP
  • DivorceMate Canada
  • Deloitte & Touche Foundations Canada
  • Duff & Phelps Canada Limited
  • Epstein Cole LLP
  • Fuller Landau LLP
  • Glass & Associates
  • Goldhart & Associates
  • Martha McCarthy & Company LLP
  • Niman Gelgoot and Associates LLP
  • Ricketts, Harris LLP
  • Torkin Manes LLP

Individual Donors

  • Nicholas Patrick Adamson
  • Stuart Bahen
  • Nicholas C.M. Bala
  • Rachel Baron
  • Collins Barrow
  • Mary Lou Benotto
  • Ella Bernhard
  • Mary Jane Binks
  • Nathalie Boutet
  • Harvey Brownstone
  • Georgina L. Carson
  • Farley Cohen
  • Sharon R. Cohen
  • Gene C. Colman
  • John Cox
  • Richard James Currie
  • George Czutrin
  • Larry Michael Dow
  • Philip & Joyce Epstein
  • Howard J. Feldman
  • Lee K. Ferrier
  • Barbara Jo Fidler
  • J. Kelvin Ford
  • Dani Z. Frodis
  • Peter Gilgan
  • Alastair Gordon
  • Stephen M. Grant
  • Edward L. Greenspan
  • Julie K. Hannaford
  • Pina Hantzakos
  • 
Jonathan L. Hart
  • David Hirsch
  • 
Joanna Hunt
  • David A. Jarvis
  • 
George Karahotzitis
  • 
Michael Kleinman
  • 
Diane E. Klukach
  • Malcolm C. Kronby
  • Susan E. Lang
  • Kamaldeep Lovel
  • 
Judith Nicoll & Paul McInnis
  • Willson A. McTavish
  • 
Alfred A. Mamo
  • Jill McLeod
  • Ellen B. Murray
  • Llana Nakonechny
  • 
Linda Popielarcryk
  • Barbara J. Puckering
  • 
Katharine Rajczak
  • Steve Z. Ranot
  • Elisabeth Sachs
  • 
Melanie Sager
  • 
Patrick David Schmidt
  • James R. Scott
  • Stanley Sherr
  • Pierre R. Sicco
  • 
Brahm D. Siegel
  • 
Maria Simone
  • 
Bryan R.G. Smith
  • Robert Spence
  • 
Robert J. Spence
  • 
Clayton R. Spencer
  • Gary A. Stern
  • Joanne H.D. Stewart
  • 
Andrew Tanenbaum
  • 
Nicole Tellier
  • 
Martin Teplitsky
  • Jacqueline Vanbetlehem
  • Ellen Margaret Wallace
  • Lee F. Webber
  • Norval N. Wener
  • 
Ronald V. Zaldin
  • Anonymous

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