Pro Bono Students Canada

PBSC’s Innovative Tax Court of Canada Project Earns Lexpert Zenith Award!

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PBSC National Office Staff at the Zenith Awards Ceremony September 21, 2011

PBSC is proud to announce that the Lexpert Zenith Awards has chosen PBSC’s Tax Court of Canada Advocacy Project  as the highest level winner in its “Law Firm Contribution to Legal Education” category.  PBSC has partnered with Dentons (formerly Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP), one of Canada’s leading business and litigation law firms, to operate this project.  PBSC and Dentons accepted the award September 22, 2011, at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto.  PBSC is grateful to Associate Dean Ben Alarie of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law for nominating the project, the first pro bono tax advocacy project in Canada.

PBSC National Director hands out awards at the ceremony

The 2011 Lexpert Zenith Awards honour law firms, in-house counsel and law students for their  commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility.  PBSC and Dentons (formerly FMC) have piloted this project at the University of Toronto chapter of PBSC. The pilot project was developed at the suggestion of the Chief Justice of the Tax Court of Canada, in response to the significant number of unrepresented appellants appearing before the Court.  Dentons and PBSC hope to expand the project to other Canadian cities and law schools in coming years. The initial group of six law students were recruited in the spring of 2010, carefully selected after a competitive application process. Students are in the process of being trained and will begin representing clients this Fall.

PBSC lawyer supervisor Charmaine Panko was also recognized at the Award Ceremony for her work with children and youth involved in child-welfare proceedings.  Ms. Panko, an associate of the firm Miller Thomson in Saskatoon, won the Zenith Award in the category of “Pro Bono of the Year” by an individual lawyer.  On top of her extensive pro bono work, she is a regular volunteer with PBSC’s University of Saskatchewan Chapter, and in the past has supervised students working for the Central Urban Métis Federation and Tamara’s House, and delivered training sessions to PBSC volunteers. PBSC is delighted that Ms. Panko’s extraordinary contributions were recognized by Lexpert.

PBSC Program Manager Kim Stanton collects her Zenith Award for PBSC’s Tax Court of Canada Project