Pro Bono Law Ontario
The American College of Trial Lawyers announces Pro Bono Law Ontario
(PBLO) as the winner of the 2009 Emil Gumpert Award. The $50,000
first-place prize is funded by a grant from the Foundation of the
American College of Trial Lawyers. The funds will be utilized by
PBLO to open “Law Help Ontario” in Ottawa, Ontario, to
provide pro bono services of volunteer lawyers to low income, pro se
litigants. The lawyers will be recruited, trained and organized by
PBLO, and the services will be offered in or adjacent to the Superior
Court of Ottawa.
The Emil Gumpert Award recognizes programs, whether public or private,
whose principal purpose is to maintain and improve the administration of
justice. The award honors the late Honorable Emil Gumpert,
Chancellor and Founder of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Through his dedication to the legal profession for more than 50 years,
Judge Gumpert’s legal career encompassed that of eminent trial
lawyer, California State Bar president and trial judge.
PBLO is a seven-year-old organization located in Toronto, with its
mission to create, nurture and guide organized pro bono efforts by
Ontario lawyers. The “Law Help Ontario” project was
organized 13 months ago to assist low income litigants with civil,
non-family law matters.
Previous Emil Gumpert Award winners have included “And Justice For
All” of Salt Lake City, Utah (2008); The National Center for
Refugee and Immigrant Children of Washington, D.C. (2007); Legal Aid
University of Boston, Massachusetts (2006); and Dakota Plains Legal
Services of Mission, South Dakota (2005).
Each year’s recipient is chosen from a wide field of applicants
seeking grants to continue projects of global application with potential
for replication in other locations. Pro Bono Law Ontario meets all
of the College’s criteria through its ability to duplicate,
encourage and extend the pro bono services of Canadian lawyers beyond
the jurisdiction of “Law Help Ontario.”