We recognize that the legal profession has a unique responsibility to the community, with skills and resources to serve the public interest. Our lawyers and staff are personally dedicated to giving time, service and support to organizations that help communities thrive. Our community involvement includes pro bono legal services, fundraising and charitable sponsorships.
We offer pro bono legal services to a range of organizations working to further the social and economic well-being of diverse populations. Our pro bono activities are governed by a written policy and overseen by our Pro Bono Committee. This committee is responsible for:
- fostering relationships with public interest and community organizations to generate pro bono opportunities
- circulating notices of available pro bono matters
- otherwise promoting pro bono work
- screening and approving pro bono matters
- assisting with the supervision and staffing of pro bono matters
Some of the organizations we serve include:
- MaRS Discovery District’s Social Venture Connection (SVX)
- Right to Play
- LAWS (Law in Action Within Schools)
- Canadian Civil Liberties Association
- Human Rights First
- Special Olympics Ontario
- CARFAC (Canadian Artists' Representation/le Front des artistes canadiens) Ontario
- Free The Children
- Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG)
- International Senior Lawyers Project
- National Music Centre
Torys is proud to provide a welcoming and supportive environment for our LGBT lawyers, staff and clients. We have a long history of providing pro bono advocacy on behalf of the LGBT community, including the following cases:
- In 1995, we represented the Canadian AIDS Society and the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario in R. v. Carmen M., in which the Ontario Court of Appeal found portions of the Criminal Code relating to the age for consent to be unconstitutional.
- In 1999, we represented the Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives in a human rights complaint against a printer who refused to provide printing services to the archives.
- In 2004, we represented the Foundation for Equal Families as an intervener before the Supreme Court of Canada in Reference re Same-Sex Marriage. In that case, the federal government had referred to the Supreme Court of Canada various questions relating to the legality of its proposed Civil Marriage Act, which defined marriage in gender-neutral terms and permitted same-sex marriage.
Pro Bono Committee
We encourage our lawyers and staff to participate in community fundraising both through internal activities and external initiatives. We also sponsor a range of events that enable organizations to continue creating positive change in their communities.
Some examples include:
- Adopt a Family
- Air Canada Foundation
- Bikes for Tykes
- Bust a Move Calgary, Alberta Cancer Foundation
- Calgary Food Bank
- Calgary Women’s Shelter
- Camp Oochigeas
- Food Bank of New York City
- Fort York Food Bank
- Give a Day
- Juvenile Diabetes
- National Eating Disorders Association
- North York General Hospital
- Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital
- Progressive Alternatives Society of Calgary
- Ronald McDonald House
- SickKids Foundation
- Teen Legal Helpline
- Touching Tiny Lives
- United Way
- YWCA Toronto - Women of Distinction Awards
What Community Means to Us
Our lawyers discuss their personal commitment to giving back in the videos below.
Cornell explains how giving back to the community is an important part of Torys’ culture, and he describes his own involvement with the LAWS program and the Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation.
Andrew praises the culture at Torys, where there are shared common values and respect for the individual. He describes the importance of mentoring and of community work, including work he is personally involved with in his own neighborhood.