As we enter the holiday season, Law Matters would like to recognize and celebrate law firms giving back to the community.
Throughout the province, the Alberta bar members have taken numerous initiatives that serve the community and help those in need. Lawyers are in a privileged position in society and through hard work and dedication to their clients' needs, they provide a vital service for a fair and just society. To that end, we also recognize our judiciary for its primary role in adjudication and its critical part in fostering the development of lawyers.
It is important to take time and recognize that the work lawyers and their legal staff do daily benefits those they assist. Beyond legal work, the legal community gives directly to organizations to improve the lives of those around them.
We feature two firms below as shining examples of altruism and as illustrations of the positive impact made by the legal community on greater society.
Shelagh McGregor is a partner at Weir Bowen LLP in Edmonton and wrote about their firm's relationship with the Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta.
Weir Bowen is proud to be a strong financial supporter of the Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta (CPAA). The CPAA supports the lives of children and adults with disabilities through its many programs and services. Cerebral palsy is a condition that often results from oxygen deprivation during labour and delivery.
Cerebral palsy can be very severe or mild, but always involves a gross motor delay. It can be a devastating condition that impacts all aspects of a person's life, including speech, fine motor, cognitive delays, and gross motor delay. The CPAA does impressive work to support children and adults with this diagnosis, including music therapy, aqua therapy, dance programs, art programs, and computer literacy programs. They also have a funding program for some items not funded by other means, as well as providing a strong network of support for families, which is crucial for families dealing with all of the challenges that come with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy.
Given how many of our clients have a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, and we know how devastating it can be, it is important to us to give back to this community, and we are proud to do so.
Joanne Luk is the marketing specialist at Field Law and shared some of the charitable initiatives provided by the firm and its Community Fund Program.
Giving back to the communities where we work and live is a core value of Field Law and supporting our communities has never been more critical. The firm supports many community and charitable initiatives over the holidays and throughout the year. We are proud to support initiatives collectively as a firm and individually, whether it's participating in charity runs, donating blood, or volunteering in the community.
This year marks ten years of the Field Law Community Fund Program. The Program awards funds to support community-focused individuals, organizations and charitable initiatives throughout Alberta and the Northwest Territories. This year, 130 unique applications were submitted and over 28,000 votes were cast before our three judging panels met to decide the winners earlier this month. With $75,000 donated again this year, we are excited to have donated $760,000 in support of 128 local projects since the Program's inception.
While the Field Law Community Fund Program has wrapped up for this year, across the firm, we continue to collect donations and pack shoeboxes for the annual Operation Christmas Child campaign while also raising funds and collecting donations for the Food Banks in both Calgary and Edmonton.
As 2022 comes to an end, we also reflect on the adaptability of the legal community. The years since the pandemic resulted in significant challenges to traditional practice, but the resolve of the Alberta and Canadian bar, together with their respective judiciaries, ancillary organizations, and government institutions, found solutions to these challenges. The improved integration of technology-assisted processes has allowed the legal community to emerge with procedures that will benefit the public and practitioners over the long term. We take time to recognize the additional work of so many in the legal community since the pandemic and extend our appreciation for all their efforts to ensure the profession's subsistence and to uphold the rule of law.
From everyone at Law Matters, we wish you a happy holiday season and thank you for your goodwill and grace.
For readers who wish to submit an article, or highlight what their firm or organization is doing to give back to the community, please visit our committee page to contact the Co-Chairs of the Editorial Committee.
Daniel Jackman is a lawyer in Calgary and a Co-Chair of the CBA Alberta publication Law Matters.
Opeyemi Bello is a lawyer in Edmonton and a Co-Chair of the CBA Alberta publication Law Matters.
Jillian Gamez is a lawyer in Edmonton. She sits on the CBA Alberta board of directors as a member-at-large and is board liaison to the editorial committee of Law Matters.