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To celebrate Access to Justice Week, each day of the week Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan (PBLS) is sharing stories from our volunteers. All the volunteers featured this week are in-house counsel or work for the government. PBLS volunteers directly support low-income people in Saskatchewan who would otherwise not be able to access a lawyer.
Co-operators Group Limited
Volunteering with Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan is an incredibly rewarding and engaging experience. I have helped many clients in different areas of law, with the largest demand being in family law. Before joining Co-operators as in-house counsel I practiced family law. Often, the clients I speak with have just separated or are contemplating separation. For them, this journey is charged with emotion, questions, and often misinformation.
I remember one client in particular that I called was on a walk with her infant child as she was still living with her spouse. She was very upset and in tears unsure about her options and next steps. Her spouse had consistently told her misinformation about what would happen to her and her child if she left. Through our conversation, I was able to provide her advice, options, the process, and free counselling/support in Saskatoon. After our time, she was more confident and relieved with her situation and told me that I had helped change her and her daughter’s life. I believe that it is our obligation as lawyers to use our skills and help those in our community. For me, it is just a few hours, but for the clients, it can have major impact and provide them with information they would otherwise be unable to access.
I am grateful for an employer who promotes community involvement and volunteerism. Volunteering with Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan helps me keep up to date with other areas of law outside of my current role, such as family law, and keeps my legal skills well-rounded and sharp.
Andrew Gaucher volunteers at the Regina Free Legal Clinic and on the General Panel Program.
Interested in volunteering? The Saskatchewan Lawyers’ Insurance Association (SLIA) provides coverage for volunteering with PBLS, even if you are exempt from paying. Learn more about pro bono and insurance coverage here. Learn more about PBLS by visiting pblsask.ca, email email@example.com or follow us here.