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Pro Bono

Lawyers enjoy the unique privilege of providing pro bono legal counsel to ensure marginalized people and communities have access to justice. The best global pro bono law firms understand that giving back provides great reward. By providing pro bono legal services to people and organizations in need, McMillan’s lawyers engage in professionally and personally fulfilling work and change lives.

Pro Bono Community Partnerships

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 appeal 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.

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 to charities and other not for profit organizations, McMillan provides services directly to individuals through organizations such as Pro Bono Law Ontario, Pro Bono Law Alberta, Calgary Legal Guidance Clinic, Calgary Small Claims Duty Counsel and Centre Pro Bono Québec Inc.

A member of the Law Firm Diversity and Inclusion Network, we strive to serve organizations and people in need, as diverse and eclectic as our clients across Canada and worldwide. In the last two years alone, McMillan provided over $1.1 million dollars worth of pro bono legal counsel to a cross-section of organizations including MayTree; Working Women Community Centre; Jane’s Walk (Tides Canada Initiatives); Manifesto Community Projects; Scadding Court Community; Scarborough Women’s Centre; Working Skills Centre; Social Services Network; Scientists in School; The York Centre for Children, Youth and Families; Planned Parenthood Toronto; and Delta Family Resource Centre.

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 that cannot be afforded, please tell us your story by reaching out to one of our pro bono lawyers below.

Margaret McNee, National Pro bono Partner, Toronto, [email protected]

Brett Harrison, Pro bono Partner, Toronto, [email protected]

Barbara Collins, Pro bono Partner, Vancouver, [email protected]

Yonatan Petel, Pro bono Partner, Montréal, [email protected]

Richard Jones, Pro bono Partner, Calgary, [email protected]