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Free Legal Advice-a-thon! Pro Bono going public 2010 at Victory Square in Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES)

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment

What is PRO BONO GOING PUBLIC 2010?

This September, lawyers will once again provide free legal advice in the streets of Vancouver, Kelowna and Victoria in order to raise awareness and funds for BC’s pro bono programs. The free legal advice-a-thon will facilitate access to justice for low- and modest-income people, including the homeless, by engaging lawyers in advising pre-scheduled and drop-in clients on all legal issues.

The open-air legal advice clinics will be held over three days— one day in each city— and will rely on the volunteer efforts of over 75 lawyers. Participating lawyers will be encouraged to obtain pledges from family, friends and co-workers in direct support of pro bono programs operated by Access Pro Bono (formed by the merger of the Western Canada Society to Access Justice and Pro Bono Law of BC) and the Salvation Army.

Last year, we raised nearly $25,000 for pro bono programming in BC. This year, our goal is to raise $30,000, and we need your support to help us reach our target!

What happened last year?

Last year, Pro Bono Going Public succeeded in securing the maximum amount of volunteer lawyers for each city. 48 lawyers in Vancouver, 16 lawyers in Kelowna and 14 lawyers in Victoria served a total of 167 pre-booked and walk-up clients over the course of three days. The volunteer lawyers assisted clients on a range of legal matters including: civil, criminal, employment, family, tenant and landlord disputes and wills and estates.

The clients were overwhelmingly appreciative of the opportunity to receive free legal advice in such an accessible manner. Many of them expressed that the event renewed their faith in the kindness of lawyers, and alleviated stresses and fears that had accumulated over months and years.

Pro Bono Going Public 2009 also garnered excellent and extensive publicity in several media; including CBC TV (English and French) throughout the province, A Channel and CFAX in Victoria, CBC Radio in Vancouver and Victoria, News 1150 in Kelowna, and CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver. The Vancouver Sun also featured a particularly positive editorial on pro bono in British Columbia at the time of the event. The following websites and online reporters also featured articles relating to the event: Kelowna Capital News, Saanich News, Vancouver Courier and Victoria News.

When and where are the open-air clinics?

VICTORIA

When:
Thursday, September 2, 2010
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Where:
Centennial Square

Centennial Square is bordered by Douglas Street (east), Pandora Street (south), Government Street (west) and Fisgard Street (north).

KELOWNA

When:
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Where:
Rose Garden – City Park

Rose Garden – City Park is located on Abbott Street, directly across from the Travelodge.

VANCOUVER

When:
Friday, September 10, 2010
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Where:
Victory Square Park

Victory Square Park is bordered by Cambie Street (east), Pender Street (south), Hamilton Street (west) and West Hastings Street (north).

How can I help the cause?

If you are a lawyer, you can help us by volunteering at one of our three open-air clinics. We encourage volunteer lawyers to donate one or more hours of their time, and to raise an amount equal to or above their billable rate. Register as a lawyer by clicking here. Once registered, you can login to your account to customize your personal donation page, send emails to potential sponsors, manage offline pledges, and view the status of your fundraising efforts. We will award prizes to the top fundraisers!

Whether or not you are a lawyer, you can help us by sponsoring a lawyer as s/he provides free legal advice. Sponsor a lawyer by clicking here.

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