TORONTO, ON MARCH 24, 2021 –
Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new Chapter at Ryerson Law.
PBSC’s mission is to provide free legal support to people and communities facing barriers to justice. With Chapters in virtually every law school across Canada, the organization engages over 1,500 students per year who support the work of over 450 community organizations. Students provide legal services, conduct research, and develop public legal education resources under the supervision of PBSC’s roster of pro bono lawyers and mentors.
“We are thrilled to officially welcome Ryerson Law into the PBSC family,” said Brittany Twiss, National Director of PBSC. “As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we are humbled to be expanding to Canada’s newest law school, and heartened by the enthusiasm of Ryerson’s students and staff.”
In the past five years alone, PBSC’s student volunteers have provided approximately 650,000 hours of free legal support to nearly 50,000 people. With the addition of Ryerson Law, the organization will now be operating in all nine law schools in Ontario thanks to the generous support of PBSC’s founding and principal funder, the Law Foundation of Ontario.
“We are delighted to support the launch of a PBSC Chapter at Ryerson Law,” said Linda Rothstein, The Law Foundation of Ontario’s Board Chair. “The barriers to justice facing low-income Ontarians are complex and numerous. This expansion will bring free legal help to even more people in need, while cultivating future pro bono champions and leaders in the legal profession serving the public interest.”
The Chapter will launch in May 2021, just in time for Ryerson Law’s new Program Coordinator to join student leaders from across Canada for PBSC’s National Leadership Conference. At this annual event, students receive comprehensive training focused on respectful engagement in the access to justice sector - including training on anti-oppression, anti-racism, and cultural humility. Over the course of the summer, Ryerson’s new Program Coordinator will collaborate with PBSC’s community partners and other Chapters to develop projects for the 2021-2022 academic year.
"We are so proud to join as the newest Chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada in our inaugural year. With a longstanding commitment to building a more equitable and accessible legal system, the PBSC program strongly aligns with Ryerson Law's mission and represents a visionary model for delivering free and high-calibre legal services to underserved communities; enabling law students to gain practical experience in providing an agile response to client needs; and building a generation of leaders committed to expanding the reach of justice," shared Donna E. Young, founding Dean of Ryerson Law.
Ryerson Law is situated in downtown Toronto, providing partnership opportunities on projects with PBSC’s University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Chapters. With Ryerson’s focus on technology, the Chapter will also be well suited to support communities outside the immediate vicinity of the law school, uniquely increasing both the impact and reach of PBSC’s pro bono projects.
“This is excellent news for PBSC and for the communities we serve,” said Jutta Brunnée, Chair of PBSC’s National Advisory Board and Dean of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. “We are very pleased to welcome Ryerson Law to PBSC and we look forward to working together to advance PBSC’s mission.”
About Pro Bono Students Canada
PBSC envisions a society with accessible legal systems, where the dignity and rights of every person are upheld. The organization is guided by the three core values of dignity, equity, and humility. Visit PBSC’s website to learn more.
About Ryerson Law
Ryerson Law is reimagining legal education in pursuit of a more just society. Our mission is to equip the lawyers of tomorrow with the contemporary skills and experience required to expand the reach of justice and respond to the evolving challenges that face Canadian society. Ryerson Law students will gain professional experience beyond traditional legal contexts, enabling them to
navigate diverse paths to practice, better serve their clients, and innovate the legal profession itself. To learn more, visit ryerson.ca/law.
About Law Foundation of Ontario
Established by statute in 1974, The Law Foundation of Ontario is the sole foundation in Ontario with the mandate of improving access to justice. Through granting and collaboration, the Foundation invests in knowledge and services that help people understand the law and use it to improve their lives. Learn more at www.lawfoundation.on.ca.
Brittany Twiss, National Director