As the cost of living rises in communities throughout our province, more British Columbians than ever are contending with acute forms of financial strain, housing insecurity, relationship breakdown and other poverty-rooted hardship. Demand for our legal services has never been higher. Pro Bono Going Public is more critical than ever for ensuring that we can continue to provide access to legal services to thousands of British Columbians in need.
Pro Bono Going Public returns to two in-person locations in 2023: the Surrey Civic Plaza and the Vancouver Art Gallery. The 16th annual service event will again follow a hybrid model, with lawyers offering free legal advice at virtual and in-person clinics. Its service and publicity campaigns will reach every BC city and town. Together, we will continue to demonstrate how much BC lawyers care about access to justice in every BC community.
The event will run for two weeks (Monday to Friday) from September 5 to 22. Volunteer lawyers will select one or more hour-long telephone or in-person shifts. They can then solicit charitable donations in support of their pro bono contributions. Clients will be low and modest income British Columbians in urgent need of free legal advice. Telephone appointments will be scheduled with ample time for conflict checks, and in-person clinics will allow for pre-scheduled and drop-in appointments.
Last year’s event saw 172 volunteer lawyers provide free legal advice to a record 457 British Columbians in need. The event raised an incredible $123,598 in support of access to justice in BC. With the legal community behind us, we’re hopeful we can exceed last year’s totals.
All funds raised during PBGP 2023 will support APB’s wide array of pro bono legal services. We hope that each volunteer lawyer will raise an amount equal to or above their billable rate. Our ultimate goals are to serve the public, to raise awareness of BC lawyers’ efforts to increase access to justice in their communities, and to raise $100,000 or more for our charitable mission. With your support, we can achieve our goals!
We publicize PBGP 2023 over print, radio and social media. Promotions will spotlight sponsors and spread awareness of the pro bono services and resources that we offer throughout the province.
Surrey Civic Plaza
September 8 (10:00am – 2:00pm)
Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza
September 14 (10:00 am – 4:00pm)
BC-Wide Telephone Clinic
September 5 – 22 (9:00am – 5:00pm)