“Being a lawyer is a privilege, not a right.” – Former Chief Justice of Ontario Honourable Warren K. Winkler
At Siskinds, we recognize that the privilege of providing legal services to our community carries with it a responsibility which extends beyond our clients and into the community we serve. This responsibility is reflected in our commitments to diversity, environmental responsibility, charitable giving, community participation and provision of pro bono services.
Participation and Support
Siskinds lawyers are encouraged and expected to actively participate in our community as citizens, as individuals with legal expertise and as individuals who are comfortable and competent in assuming leadership and advisory roles.
Siskinds lawyers and employees are encouraged to become involved in organizations and activities that benefit our communities, promote social responsibility, and enhance access to justice for individuals in our community. This involvement ranges from assisting the homeless to sitting on boards of charitable and not-for-profit organizations, and from providing legal information to the public and presenting at educational forums to providing pro bono legal services to individuals and organizations. Activities and endeavours that Siskinds lawyers and employees have been involved with in the past year include:
- Alzheimer Society London and Middlesex
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Brain Injury Association
- Children’s Health Foundation
- Cystic Fibrosis Program, LHSC
- Karen Schuessler Singers
- United Way
- Habitat for Humanity
- Hope’s Garden
- Lawyers Feed the Hungry
- London Humane Society
- London Health Sciences Centre
- Lucas McConnell Memorial Golf Tournament
- McCormick Home Foundation
- Memorial Boys and Girls ClubNeighbourhood Legal Services
- Participation House
- Pro Bono Ontario
- Provision of pro bono services to clients without means
- SARI Therapeutic Riding
- Sexual Assault Centre
- St. Joseph’s Hospice
- Sunshine Foundation of Canada
- YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth
Pro Bono Services
Siskinds recognizes the difficulties some people have in accessing the justice system to address their legal problems. As stated by Justice Thomas Cromwell of the Supreme Court of Canada in A Roadmap for Change, 2013,“Members of poor and vulnerable groups are particularly prone to legal problems. They experience more legal problems than higher income earners and more secure groups.” In addition, there are many community groups which assist to disadvantaged or vulnerable individuals which require but cannot necessarily afford legal services to fulfill their mandates. As lawyers, we are in a unique position to assist disadvantaged or vulnerable individuals and the organizations that serve them.
In recognition of our professional responsibility to promote access to justice, Siskinds promotes and supports firstly, practices to make provision of services more affordable to prospective clients and secondly, the provision of pro bono services to deserving individuals and organizations. Our lawyers are encouraged and expected to engage in pro bono work and to incorporate this into their professional development. Clients provided with pro bono services can expect the same high level of commitment and service as our paying clients.
Siskinds is committed to reducing its environmental impact. Our efforts include the adoption of programs to reduce paper usage, increasing recycling programs, donation of computer equipment to charities, the introduction of energy efficient components and practices within its offices, and introduction of video conferencing facilities within its offices to reduce travel.
Siskinds encourages diversity in our firm and in our community. We have been a leader in making our offices accessible to the public and to our employees. We aim to hire the best people for the job regardless of personal or ethnic considerations, and are pleased to note that this policy has resulted in a broad representation of various ethnic backgrounds, religions, orientations and languages.