The chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada told hundreds of attendees at the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers conference that the entire legal profession needs to make a commitment to taking on pro bono work.
Justice Richard Wagner was in Toronto Feb. 23 to deliver remarks at the FACL conference, which attracted about 250 people to its daytime sessions.
“[W]e need lawyers to do more pro bono work,” said Wagner in a mid-day address at the conference. “I know this is a controversial statement. You know, I’ve heard what people are saying, in the media and on Twitter. This is not an easy issue, particularly in the context of the high tuition and bar fees . . . and I recognize that not all lawyers are in the same financial position or doing the same kind of work. Any policy response needs to account for this reality. But lawyers also have a responsibility to help solve the access-to-justice problem.”