Queen’s Law Clinics and Legal Aid will continue to serve both students within the Faculty of Law and the greater Kingston community, thanks to a substantial gift from a Toronto-based law firm.
The Faculty of Law announced on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 that Bogoroch and Associates LLP has donated $200,000 to Queen’s Legal Aid. According to the university, the substantial donation “provides much-needed support to assist the highly sought-after clinic in maintaining its current level of service.” Students within the Faculty of Law work with Queen’s Legal Aid, offering them a “prime experiential learning opportunity,” where they “acquire valuable practice skills as they serve the most vulnerable citizens in the greater Kingston area,” Queen’s University said in a press release.
According to the university, Queen’s Legal Aid provides free legal assistance to approximately 900 clients each year, while making referrals for a further 1,400+ individuals.
Bogoroch and Associates LLP represents injured individuals and their families in of personal injury and medical malpractice litigation. The firm was selected as one of the top 10 personal injury boutique law firms in Canada by Canadian Lawyer magazine each year since 2013-2014. Founder Richard Bogoroch is a certified specialist in civil litigation by the Law Society of Ontario, and is recognized as a leading personal injury lawyer by the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and Best Lawyers in Canada.
“I am grateful to have the opportunity to make this gift, especially at a time when recent cutbacks to legal aid have left the clinic with a funding shortfall. This gift exemplifies our abiding interest in legal education and access to justice,” Bogoroch said in a statement.
“Lack of access to justice is not an abstraction, it is reality for so many people who cannot afford a lawyer. By this gift, those in need of assistance will obtain it and Queen’s Law students will learn valuable skills; skills that should serve them well as they embark on their legal careers.”
This large donation comes seven months after Kingston-based Cunningham Swan LLP gifted the Queen’s Law Clinics $125,000, helping the clinics continue to provide pro-bono services to those in Kingston. At that time – two months after the Ontario provincial budget called for large cuts to Legal Aid fund, prompting concern from local legal clinics – Karla McGrath, the Executive Director of Queen’s Law Clinics, expressed why such support is so important at this time.
“This is an extremely challenging time for any agency that provides frontline services to the most vulnerable in our community,” McGrath said in June of 2019. “Private support is becoming essential to the maintenance of basic services. And, while all support is important, this donation is especially meaningful as it comes from legal colleagues, who recognize the importance of our work and of our programs.”
Mark Walters, Dean of Law at Queen’s University, echoed those sentiments while also pointing to the important role Queen’s Law Clinics and Legal Aid play for students in his faculty.
“Queen’s Legal Aid, along with our other Queen’s Law Clinics, is central to our sense of what legal education is all about and to serving the community,” Walters said in a statement on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020.
“This generous donation from Bogoroch and Associates LLP will support the great success of our clinical legal education program to the benefit of our students as well as vulnerable members of the Kingston community.”
For more information on Queen’s Law Clinics, including Queen’s Legal Aid, click here.