Stack of hands
Stack of hands

Pro Bono

Lawyers enjoy the unique privilege of providing pro bono legal counsel to ensure that people and communities without the means to pay for legal counsel have access to justice. Leading global law firms understand that giving back provides great reward. By providing pro bono legal services to people and organizations in need, McMillan’s lawyers continue to change lives while engaged in professionally and personally fulfilling work.

A Rich History

McMillan’s history of providing pro bono legal services to people, organizations and communities in need is a rich one. Newton Rowell, who founded our firm in 1903, was counsel to the five female plaintiffs in the famous “Persons” case in 1929. In that case, the British Privy Council, then the highest level of appellate court in Canada, determined that women were “persons” within the meaning of the British North America Act and, therefore, eligible for appointment to the Senate. More recently, we represented the plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in M. v. H. This equality rights case, which was supported by the firm on a pro bono basis, recognized spousal support rights and obligations for same sex couples for the first time.

Committed to Giving Back

At McMillan, we’re proud to give ample time and legal expertise to people and organizations in our community who need our help, at no cost. In addition to providing pro bono services directly to individuals, charities and other not for profit organizations, McMillan provides services directly to individuals through organizations such as Pro Bono Law Ontario, Calgary Small Claims Duty and Access to Justice Vancouver.

A member of the Law Firm Diversity and Inclusion Network, we strive to serve organizations and people in need, as diverse as our clients across Canada and worldwide. Annually, McMillan provides nearly $1 million dollars worth of pro bono legal counsel to a cross-section of organizations, such as:

  • A Way Home
  • Acorn Canada
  • Agincourt Community Services Association
  • Alexandra Park Community Center
  • Applegrove Community Complex
  • CEE Center for Young Black Professionals


  • Community Unity Alliance
  • Delta Family Resources Centre
  • Making the Shift
  • MayTree
  • People for Education
  • Planned Parenthood Toronto
  • Scadding Court Community
  • Scarborough Women’s Centre
  • Scientists in School
  • Second Chance Foundation
  • The Children’s Breakfast Club
  • Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation
  • Working Skills Centre
  • Working Women Community Centre
  • Women’s Habitat of Etobicoke and York Hills

McMillan is also proud of its new affiliation with the National Self-Represented Litigants Project which is committed to advancing understanding of the challenges and hard choices facing the very large number of Canadians who now come to court without counsel.

Recent Accolades

In 2023, the Canadian Lawyer Magazine recognized McMillan as one of the 5-Star Pro Bono Firms. This recognition is given to firms that demonstrate pro bono infrastructure at an institutional level with one of the selection criteria being that the average pro bono hours per year, per lawyer, exceeds five hours annually.

Contact Us

We are also contacted directly and receive referrals from clients who believe we can help. If you represent a charity or other not for profit organization in need of legal representation but without the means to afford counsel, please tell us your story by reaching out using the button below.

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