May 11, 2020

WeirFoulds lawyers continue the Firm’s longstanding commitment to Pro Bono Ontario during COVID-19

WeirFoulds has long-supported Pro Bono Ontario (PBO), a registered charity with a mandate to bridge the gap between low-income Ontarians who cannot afford a lawyer and lawyers who want to donate their services.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the closure of Courts in Ontario, PBO temporarily closed its courthouse-based Law Help Centres in Toronto and in Ottawa. To continue to provide free legal services, PBO pivoted to a fully remote service, where volunteer lawyers can continue to answer questions over the phone using PBO’s Free Legal Advice Hotline.

Associates Megan Mah, Kayla Theeuwen and Kartiga Thavaraj, who volunteer their time at the courthouse-based Law Help Centre in Toronto, have joined other lawyers across the province in transitioning to volunteering their time on the Hotline.

In a time in which Ontarians are experiencing unprecedented legal needs, calls to the Hotline have increased dramatically: calls to PBO’s employment line have increased by 126%, housing calls are up 116%, and calls to PBO’s corporate line have increased by 40%.

PBO encourages lawyers to volunteer their time with the Hotline – particularly during this pandemic – to give back to those in our community who need legal services but cannot afford to hire a lawyer.

Beyond the Hotline, WeirFoulds and its lawyers have a history of supporting PBO. For example, Derry Millar and Raj Anand previously served on the Board of PBO, and Raj Anand served as President of PBO from 2003-2005.

PBO’s services are critical to responding to the legal needs of thousands of Ontarians as a result of COVID-19, and WeirFoulds is proud to contribute to its work.

Visit probonoontario.org to learn how you can volunteer as a lawyer or law student.