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VOL. 77 PART 1 JANUARY 2019
long-lasting relationships. The Honourable Madam Justice Francesca V.
Marzari refers to her own pro bono experience through West Coast LEAF
(Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund),23 through which she made connections
with people who later played pivotal roles in her career.24
Several pro bono organizations and programs exist across the province
that welcome lawyers of all levels and various areas of practice. Access Pro
Bono is a non-profit organization with several programs and workshops,25
and Amici Curiae is “a non-profit society offering workshops that help the
public complete the legal forms necessary to present a matter to a court or
Additionally, many legal advocacy programs are in need of young
lawyers: Artists’ Legal Outreach,27 the MOSAIC Legal Advocacy Program28
and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada Volunteer Legal Advocacy Program
(B.C. and Yukon chapter)29 are just a few, and with a little research you
can find something of specific interest to you.
Non-Profit Organizations and Charities
If you want to join and aid a non-profit organization or charity, you want to
pick something that you have a connection to or strong interest in. Some
lawyers choose to get involved with charities that have benefitted them or
people they know, such as a health-related organization that has aided a
family member. Or they may choose an organization that is associated with
a hobby or sport that they love. Other lawyers may choose organizations in
which their children already participate, offering the dual benefit of
increasing family time and contributing to the community.
Do not limit yourself to organizations you feel passionate about, and do
not feel as though you have to join a board in order to contribute. You can
start as a volunteer to help you become familiar with the aims and operations
of the organization.
Young lawyers can enjoy many benefits by getting involved in their community.
Rose Keith, who is involved in organizations in the legal community
and the community at large (TLABC, CBABC, BC Lupus Society,
Cycling BC and Ovarian Cancer Canada, to name a few), remarks that
lawyers have a unique skill set that can easily be overlooked if they are not
involved in the community. She believes that lawyers need to be familiar
with governance and how boards are run. By contributing and being
involved, young lawyers can strengthen their communication skills and
their ability to understand and resolve conflict, to make them better
lawyers. Roger Watts has a similar view of the overlapping benefits of
involvement in the community and bettering a young lawyer’s professional
skills. Watts has been heavily involved in the Carousel Theatre for Young