pro bono 

about us 

To view our pro bono brochure, click here.

McMillan considers the provision of pro bono services to be a particularly important element of our professional responsibility. We strongly encourage all of our lawyers to be involved in pro bono work.

To maximize the effectiveness of our efforts, a structured and coordinated approach to this work is essential. That is why we work closely with recognized agencies devoted to pro bono legal programs, including Pro Bono Law Ontario, Pro Bono Law Alberta, Calgary Legal Guidance Clinic, Calgary Small Claims Duty Counsel, and Centre Pro Bono Québec Inc.

Here are a few examples of the pro bono services we provide. From our work with large multinational organizations like Médecins sans Frontières to our work for parents trying to secure benefits for their chronically ill child, we are honoured to serve our communities.

Maytree Foundation

In 2009, McMillan developed a partnership with Maytree – a charitable organization committed to reducing poverty and inequality – to provide pro bono services to Maytree's network of contacts in the local not-for-profit community. We deliver these services in the following ways:

  • Provide not-for-profit agencies in Maytree's network with a guaranteed amount of pro bono services annually through our pro bono certificate programs. 
  • Create and lead legal seminars for Maytree's Five Good Ideas series on relevant legal issues. These presentations are videotaped and posted on Maytree's website as a continuing resource for those in the Maytree network.

Through this partnership McMillan has provided pro bono services to the following organizations:

  • Working Skills Centre
  • Social Services Network
  • Scarborough Women's Centre
  • Scadding Court Community Centre Inc.
  • Diaspora Dialogues
  • Dixon Hall
  • Jane's Walk (Tides Canada Initiatives)
  • Manifesto Community Project
  • Working Women Community Centre
  • Delta Family Resource Centre
  • Planned Parenthood Toronto
  • Eating Disorders of York Region
  • Palliative Care Network for York Region
  • Scientists in School
  • The York Centre for Children, Youth and Families
  • ACORN Canada
  • East Scarborough Storefront
  • Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council

Pro Bono Law Ontario ("PBLO") at SickKids

The PBLO at SickKids program is a collaboration between Pro Bono Law Ontario, the Hospital for Sick Children and another Toronto-based law firm. PBLO at SickKids was established to connect volunteer lawyers with low-income parents struggling with a legal issue and, at the same time, a critically or chronically ill child.

The needs are great in many cases – which makes our successes in helping individuals extremely meaningful for both the recipient and our lawyers. Our lawyers consistently report that the cases they take from SickKids are among the most personally and professionally rewarding that they have.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders

McMillan is proud to be one of Médecins sans Frontières' preferred legal providers of pro bono legal services in Canada and internationally. We recognize the extraordinary contribution that Médecins sans Frontières has made, and continues to make, in the delivery of emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare around the world.

We have engaged in a number of continuing matters for Médecins sans Frontières, including its subscription for adequate insurance related to the medical research it carries out.

Its medical research activities focus on the most frequent diseases treated by the organization (malaria, tuberculosis, HIV infection, child malnutrition) and on diseases with epidemic potential such as cholera, meningitis, measles, or hemorrhagic fevers. They place an emphasis on neglected patient groups and on neglected diseases, given that many of the populations Médecins sans Frontières works with are excluded from traditional sources of medical research.

Access Pro Bono Clinics

Access Pro Bono is an organization that organizes pro bono legal advice clinics for low income individuals throughout the lower mainland and the rest of the province of British Columbia. Our lawyers volunteer at Access Pro Bono on a monthly basis. Each client who attends the clinic receives a ½ hour of free legal advice from the attending lawyer.

Its mission is to promote access to justice in British Columbia by providing and fostering quality pro bono legal services for people and non-profit organizations of limited means. As part of this mission, Access organizes 85 summary legal advice clinics in community centres, social agencies, churches and courthouses located throughout the province.

Children's Hearing and Speech Centre of BC (CHSC)

Children's Hearing and Speech Centre of BC is a family focused clinical and educational centre that teaches deaf and hard of hearing children to listen and talk, giving them the skills and confidence they need to achieve their fullest potential.

Our lawyers review and advise CHSC on software licensing and services agreements. We also conduct contract reviews, advise on employment matters, advise the board on duties and procedures and advise on charity law issues.

RBC/McMillan Law Help Ontario Program

The RBC/McMillan Law Help Ontario Program, run through PBLO provides volunteer RBC and McMillan lawyers to both the Superior and Small Claims Courts in Toronto Law Help Ontario offices. As duty counsel, the volunteer lawyers provide a range of services to individuals who cannot afford legal representation.

This includes assessing the merits of their claim, advising on the next step in active litigation, and appearing on their behalf in court. The program provides practical real-time support to low-income individuals who otherwise would not have access to legal assistance.

Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Clubs

The Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club ("TKBGC") works with young people and their families, enabling them to develop the life skills, knowledge and values essential to becoming healthy contributing individuals. In 2012, McMillan was approached by TKBGC to help out on the revitalization of the TKGBC Miles & Kelly Nadal Youth Centre in Regent Park.

In order to raise the funds necessary to complete the reconstruction, TKBGC needed to obtain financing from Infrastructure Ontario. McMillan was able to provide TKGBC with the expertise and sophisticated deal skills necessary to negotiate the construction financing facility with Infrastructure Ontario and other stakeholders. The negotiations ultimately resulted in the advance of funds to pay for completion of construction.

The newer youth centre is now open to the community, is fully accessible and features a new children's floor library, gym and technology centre.

Canadian Snowboard Federation ("CSF")

The Canadian Snowboard Federation (also known as "Canada~Snowboard") is the governing body in Canada for the sport of snowboarding and is recognized by the Government of Canada, the Fédération Internationale de Ski, the World Snowboard Federation, the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

McMillan acts as the registered and records office for CSF. In the lead up to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, McMillan will provide advice regarding various immigration, employment, trade-mark and general matters.

List of Other Clients

Our lawyers devote their time and legal expertise to many organizations, including:

  • Arthritis Society
  • Boys and Girls Club of Canada
  • Canadian Cancer Society
  • Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute
  • Canadian Centre for Ethics and Corporate Policy
  • Child Advocacy Project
  • Daily Bread Food Bank
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • Foodshare Toronto
  • Law Foundation
  • Learning to Listen Foundation
  • Learning Partnership 
  • Lung Cancer Canada
  • St. Michael's Hospital Foundation
  • Sharelife

contacts

Dan MacDonald
National Pro Bono Partner
Toronto

Barbara Collins
Pro Bono Partner
Vancouver

Richard Jones
Pro Bono Partner
Calgary

Brett Harrison 
Pro Bono Partner
Toronto 

Yonatan Petel 
Pro Bono Partner
Montreal