Pro Bono Students Canada

PBSC Osgoode and PBSC U of T Host a Jam-Packed, Joint Volunteer Appreciation Event!

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Teri Muszak, PBSC Western Program Coordinator; Sahil Zaman, PBSC Western Program Coordinator; Chris Hunt , PBSC Queen’s Program Coordinator; Nikki Gershbain, PBSC National Director; Melayna Williams, PBSC Osgoode Program Coordinator; Gail Wong, Director, Student Programs, McCarthy Tétrault; Katie O'Rourke, PBSC U of T Program Coordinator; Ye Xia, Osgoode PBSC Program Coordinator; Albert Lin, PBSC U of T Program Coordinator; Nav Johal, PBSC Manager Community Placement Program; Margaretta Hanna, U of T Family Law Project Coordinator; Emily Hubling, U of T PBSC Program Coordinator

For the first time, the University of Toronto and Osgoode Chapters of Pro Bono Students Canada came together to hold an appreciation event for their volunteers and partners on March 4, 2011.  The event was hosted by PBSC’s National Law Firm Partner, McCarthy Tétrault.  It was a huge success, with more than 90 PBSC volunteers, organizational partners and firm lawyers in attendance. McCarthy Tétrault’s 53rd-floor reception room, with its panoramic views of the city, provided an ideal setting for this terrific event.

The event was an opportunity to thank PBSC’s many supporters. The chapter Program Coordinators kicked things off with a welcome and a thank you to everyone for a year of hard work and for their commitment to community service.  Next up was a panel discussion on “Pro bono as a practicing lawyer”.  The panel, moderated by McCarthy’s Alexi Wood, provided concrete suggestions for students interested in incorporating pro bono work into their legal practices. The panel included McCarthy’s lawyers Michael Feder, Keary Grace and Vaib Sahay, along with Cara Zwibel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.  PBSC’s National Director, Nikki Gershbain, then thanked the PBSC student volunteers, partner organizations, and supervising lawyers for another outstanding year, and McCarthy Tétrault for their ongoing support of PBSC’s program from coast to coast.

A cocktail reception followed, and students and lawyers mingled well into the evening. Students left the event with a greater sense of the impact of their work on their communities and the profession, and with concrete ideas for how to translate the skills and values acquired through their work with PBSC into their future careers.