Pro Bono is a term used to describe when lawyers donate their time for free to provide legal advice for those that cannot afford lawyers. A pro bono organization in Ontario is currently facing a lack of funds.
Lawyers currently fund Pro Bono Ontario, although it does receive space in Ontario courthouses at a discounted rate. The organization is now facing a lack of funds and is asking the province to help out.
Toronto criminal lawyer Ed Prutschi discusses how Pro Bono Ontario helps the court system as a whole. Most lawyers do pro bono work, and this center helps formalize and centralize that work. Lawyers show up at the center located in courthouses, answering legal questions or helping fill out forms.
While some may not want to pay taxes to fund this organization, Prutschi argues that Pro Bono Ontario actually saves the government money. If these services aren’t available the court gets clogged up with people unsure how to navigate the system. This costs the government more money.
Prutschi says that it’s not the provinces “responsibility” to provide funding for Pro Bono Ontario, but it is the government’s responsibility to provide justice. Funding this program is likely the most effective and cheapest way to do that.