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Gowling WLG has been honoured as one of Canada’s leading pro bono firms in the second edition of Canadian Lawyer’s 5-Star Pro Bono Firms Report. This recognition underscores the firm’s commitment to providing free legal services to individuals and communities in need.

Supported by Pro Bono Ontario, Canadian Lawyer selected firms from over 50 nominees based on data submitted from 2023. The recognized firms have promoted pro bono work by implementing formal structures, supporting interested lawyers, and counting pro bono time toward lawyers’ targets, among other ways.

Last year, Gowling WLG launched the “Aim for 15” campaign, encouraging all billing professionals across the firm’s global offices – including in Canada, the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia – to contribute at least 15 pro bono hours per year. Although many professionals annually exceed 15 pro bono hours (some even do hundreds), the campaign was designed to increase awareness and excitement around the firm’s longstanding pro bono work.

“At Gowling WLG, our pro bono efforts are more than just legal work – they're about connecting, collaborating and making a tangible difference in our communities, both locally and globally,” said Erin Farrell, Gowling WLG partner and pro bono program chair. “Our initiatives, guided by our professionals who respond directly to real needs, promote empathy, solidarity and meaningful change, empowering us to support pro bono clients and make a positive contribution to society.”

Gowling WLG’s pro bono clients include charities, community organizations and marginalized or disadvantaged individuals. The firm also performs legal services at no charge in support of organizations that advocate for the public good in matters of broad public concern. Some of the notable pro bono work includes:

  • Landmark decision striking down parts of Ontario’s anti-panhandling law
  • True ID Initiative assisting 2SLGBTQ+ individuals with name changes and gender designation
  • Operation Abraham, co-founded by Gowling WLG partners with a handful of others, has helped approximately 1,500
  • Afghans flee Taliban persecution (human rights defenders, women judges, advocates, lawyers, journalists, those who supported democratic initiatives and more) to immigrate to Canada and other countries
  • SeeChange co-designs health emergency responses with communities in the Canadian Arctic and partners with
  • Doctors Without Borders for similar efforts in West Africa and Latin America
  • Partnership with Ricoh in Relativity's Justice for Change program

About Canadian Lawyer’s 5-Star Pro Bono Firms
Canadian Lawyer’s second annual 5-Star Pro Bono Firms special report recognizes Canadian law firms that demonstrate pro bono infrastructure at an institutional level. The assessment criteria are evidence of pro bono infrastructure (e.g., pro bono committee, ability to quantify partner participation, etc.), count of pro bono time as billable time/toward targets (for large/national firms only), cost awards/charitable giving to access-to-justice organizations, and minimum five hours per lawyer pro bono time.

About Gowling WLG’s Pro Bono Commitment
At Gowling WLG, giving back to the communities in which we live and work is an essential part of who we are. At every level of our firm, across every office, our professionals and staff are committed to making a difference in the lives of others. Our diverse pro bono clients include charities, community organizations, advocacy groups and individuals who lack the means to retain legal counsel. Learn more about Gowling WLG’s Pro Bono initiatives.

Source: Gowling WLG


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