The University of Victoria Chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada (“PBSC”) hosted three lawyers on Tuesday, February 24th to speak about their experiences providing pro bono services. The ‘Pro Bono in Practice’“Not-A-Speech, Not-A-Panel, Not-A-Wine-And-Cheese” was a fun, informal, networking and information event, which allowed volunteers, other students and lawyers to sit down and discuss pro bono work over drinks and pizza.
The event began with introductions of our three guests, Chris Considine, QC (Considine and Company), Samantha de Wit (Cook Roberts), and Darcy Golden (Golden & Golden). Chris Considine, a Victoria resident, is well-known for his long history of community involvement and his work on many significant cases, including Rodriguez v. Attorney General of British Columbia. Samantha de Wit practice s family law in Victoria, providing advice and helping to resolve issues relating to the breakdown of married and common-law relationships. Darcy Golden is an immigration lawyer whose work experience includes interning at the Together Against Poverty Society in Victoria.
After helping themselves to pizza and drinks, volunteers, students, and guests settled throughout the student lounge. Groups quickly formed around the lawyers. Students wasted no time in asking the lawyers about their practice and how they integrated pro bono into their work. Conversation topics varied greatly between the groups. Samantha de Wit spoke about the oftentimes difficult nature of family law and the satisfaction of achieving amicable resolutions. Darcy Golden fielded questions about her recent experience articling and the transition from law school to practice. Chris Considine spoke about the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General) and his involvement with the case. He also took the opportunity to learn more about the students, asking them about their opinions on work-life balance and even about bill C-51.
As pizza boxes were stacked and glasses were collected, the evening came to a natural close. Chris, Samantha, and Darcy said their farewells and the students thanked them for their time and insight into pro bono and practice in Victoria. The event ended just as it began, relaxed and informal.