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their career, the contacts they reach out to and their goals. When opportunities
offered by a law school align with the public interest, the profession
changes, one graduate at a time.
The Future of Access to Justice
We at PBSC are far from the only ones working to solve the access to justice
problem. For example, Access to Justice BC, one of our partners, works
from other angles with diverse initiatives, events and blogs. Innovations in
the private sector mean clients can access legal services in new ways. Innovative
courses such as “Designing Legal Expert Systems: Apps for Access to
Justice”, offered by the TRU Faculty of Law and run by Assistant Professor
Katie Sykes,6 encourage students to leverage new technologies to tackle old
However, lawyers will get involved with this movement only if they are
energized and inspired, and nothing provides that energy like doing good
work and receiving the gratitude of a client in need. Even if we can never
serve all of Canadians’ legal needs by donating our time, we can grow the
culture of change together, and it starts with hands-on pro bono work.
How to Get Involved
Every year, each PBSC chapter requires dozens of insured, practising
lawyers to supervise each of our projects. It is only through their generous
donation of time that our programs continue. Contact one of B.C.’s PBSC
chapters and offer your help, and join the access to justice movement.
1. Constituency Office of Carole James, MLA; Together
Against Poverty Society; Our Place Society; Victoria
Cool Aid Society; and the Greater Victoria Public
2. In partnership with Island Sexual Health, Trans Care
BC and the Greater Victoria Public Library.
3. This is partially corroborated by the Statistics
Canada report on #MeToo. See Cristine Rotenberg
& Adam Cotter, Police-Reported Sexual Assaults in
Canada Before and After #MeToo, 2016 and 2017
(November 2018), online: Statistics Canada <www.
4. Online: <archive.carnegiefoundation.org/pdfs/
5. Eighty-five per cent of responding PBSC volunteers
plan on doing pro bono work after graduation. See
Pro Bono Students Canada, “Impact”, online: <www.
6. See Thompson Rivers University, “Innovative Law
Course Unique in Canada” (17 November 2016),