National Training ConferencesPrint
The National Training Conference 2011 marks PBSC’s 15th year of increasing access to justice in Canada. It was held in Toronto on June 2-5, 2011. Justice Rosalie Abella delivered the keynote address and discussed the state of pro bono law and the ongoing importance of pro bono lawyering in Canada. A number of distinguished guests, including Ronald Daniels and Justice Harvey Brownstone, were in attendance. For additional details, see the National Training Conference Agenda 2011.
PBSC’s National Training Conference 2010 was held from May 28-31 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Toronto. The conference featured three keynote lectures on pro bono lawyering in different contexts and cultures in Canada.
Junior Sirivar, a partner at McCarthy Tétrault in Toronto, spoke about the complexities of international pro bono lawyering, including his work on Roma human rights litigation, and his pro bono practice on Bay Street. In partnership with the University of Toronto’s International Human Rights Program (IHRP), Junior had recently obtained an order from the European Court of Human Rights regarding rights violations of Romanians under the European Convention on Human Rights. The Lexpert Zenith Awards recognized the incredible efforts of Junior, his former colleague Mark Freiman (now at Lerners LLP), and the IHRP in this important case with a Platinum award.
Michèle Moreau, the inaugural Executive Director of Pro Bono Québec, discussed the challenges of creating a pro bono culture in Québec.
Cynthia Petersen, a partner at Sack Goldblatt Mitchell in Toronto, reviewed the challenges and rewards of pro bono legal practice. She has represented clients in almost every lesbian and gay rights case to be litigated before the Supreme Court of Canada, including Egan, Vriend, M. v. H., Little Sisters and Reference re Same-Sex Marriage.
The conference also featured a number of sessions for PBSC student coordinators, including workshops on event planning, the use of social media to promote PBSC, training student volunteers in ethics and professionalism, and managing budgets. Joining PBSC staff in presenting these sessions were a number of distinguished speakers, including:
- Ayumi Bailly (Director, Policy and Programs – Law Foundation of Ontario)
- Abby Deshman (Project Director – Canadian Civil Liberties Association)
- Matthew B. Cohen (Director of Litigation – Pro Bono Law Ontario)
- Erin Hoult (Associate – Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP)
- Matthew Kelleher (Partner – McCarthy Tétrault LLP)
- Taivi Lobu (Vice-Chair – Health Professions Appeal and Review Board)
- Lucas E. Lung (Associate – Lerners LLP)
- Sarah McCoubrey (Executive Director – Ontario Justice Education Network)
- Chantal Morton (Director – Centre for the Legal Profession)
- Matthew Mundy (Summer student – Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP)
- Michèl Savoie (Manager, Client Strategies – Royal Bank of Canada)
- Cara Faith Zwibel (Director – Canadian Civil Liberties Association Anti-Discrimination Project)
For more information, see the conference media advisory.