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2012 was the first full year of LAWPRO’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. To help familiarize our staff, the bar, and other external stakeholders with our CSR commitment, we created a Corporate Social Responsibility brochure. Please get in touch with us to request copies, available both in print and in PDF format.

The LAWPRO CSR program helps to maximize employee satisfaction/retention, minimize claims (for example, in terms of the lawyer wellness and education aspects), and represents both LAWPRO’s, and the legal profession’s, interests with the insurance industry and the government.

Here’s a summary of how we’re supporting the many communities we serve:

1. Fostering the legal community and access to justice

Outreach

In our quest to better understand the work and priorities of all segments of the bar, our staff actively pursue opportunities to contribute to the activities of a wide range of legal and other professional associations. LAWPRO staff serve on many different boards and committees, distribute continuing professional education content, make submissions to commissions of inquiry, and help organize and deliver continuing professional development programs, among other activities.

A new audience targeted in 2012 was law students.

In 2012, LAWPRO staff:

  • delivered 4 presentations at Ontario law schools
  • published our first Student Edition of LAWPRO Magazine
  • participated in the University of Windsor Faculty of Law

Job Shadowing Day

  • exhibited at the Law Society of Upper Canada’s “Articling and Beyond” program.

Public Affairs

LAWPRO actively monitors legislative, regulatory and policy developments that affect lawyers and their clients. Where appropriate, staff provide submissions, consultation and other assistance to groups working on initiatives that support lawyers’ work. In 2012, LAWPRO activities included:

  • making a submission to the Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure on the ministry’s proposed management framework for forfeited corporate properties
  • lending support to legal-related public service organizations, such as the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) and the International Justice Mission (IJM)
  • making a presentation at the Ontario Chief of Police Association’s launch of its annual crime prevention campaign
  • hosting a visit from participants in Ontario’s Legislative

Internship Program

  • mailing to all Ontario MPPs to make them aware of consumer stories highlighting the role of the lawyer
  • undertaking surveys measuring the public’s understanding of home equity lines of credit and canvassing the prevalence of will-making by the Canadian public and motivations/timing for making a will. The data collected in these surveys was used and reported in media interviews, LAWPRO Magazine, and electronic newsletters to call attention to the important role of the lawyer.

Lawyer wellness

Finally, LAWPRO lent both strategic and funding support to the Law Society’s transition to a new provider of lawyer wellness services, permitting Homewood Human Solutions to begin offering counselling, peer support and other wellness services to Law Society licensees by the end of 2012.

2. Providing a healthy and rewarding workplace

Each year, LAWPRO encourages its employees to improve their skills through professional development and training, and to participate in professional and industry association activities. LAWPRO staff are represented in professional associations in the law, insurance, information technology, communications, human resources, and financial/accounting sectors. In 2012, the company:

  • celebrated 15 employees who achieved 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25-year long-service milestones
  • recognized eight employees for outstanding service or leadership via the company’s Spot Rewards program.

Employee wellness is also an important company priority.

In 2012, LAWPRO:

  • made company facilities available for the activities of our wellness, social, and green committees
  • conducted a compliance review of the health and safety program
  • compiled a list of fragrance-free products to help employees comply with the Fragrant Products Policy
  • ran an in-office flu shot clinic
  • promoted lunch-hour Wednesday Wellness Walks and group skating events.

3. Respecting the environment

In the spring of 2012, the company replaced its existing printers with a smaller number of more efficient printers. The result: a reduction in power consumption, and easier double-sided (paper-saving) printing.

As LAWPRO’s technology needs evolve, the company regularly donates unneeded and unsaleable equipment (after elimination of company data) to charitable organizations in exchange for tax receipts. Late in 2012, after the elimination of internal servers,

LAWPRO made a substantial donation of equipment to Reboot Canada, an organization that refurbishes hardware for use in the public school system.

LAWPRO is proud of the work of its employee-led green committee.

In 2012, the committee:

  • held regular transit raffles to encourage employees to use public transit
  • screened environment-friendly films via a lunch hour Movie Mondays series, and hosted guest seminars on environmental protection and natural wellness topics
  • arranged a vegetarian potluck lunch

4. Supporting the broader Canadian community

Each year, LAWPRO staff nominate and vote on five charities for inclusion in the company’s program of matching donations raised by staff through on-site, employee-led events and Denim Friday contributions. In 2012, a total of $26,000 was available for distribution under this program, giving $5,200 to each of:

  • Crohns and Colitis Foundation
  • Fanconi Canada
  • Good Shepherd Ministries
  • Toronto Humane Society
  • Tree Ontario Foundation

Besides the formal staff charity program, LAWPRO employees regularly enlist support from their fellow employees on a personal basis for individual charitable initiatives. This year’s employee-led initiatives included donating meals to the Good Shepherd Homeless Shelter; selling daffodils in support of cancer research; volunteering with the Law Society’s Lawyers Feed the Hungry program; and helping organize the International Justice Mission’s NourishHOPE event.

LAWPRO staff also give back to the community by sharing their expertise via involvement with insurance industry associations. In 2012, LAWPRO staff participated in insurance industry initiatives and policy development via several associations including the National Association of Bar-Related Title Insurers (NABRTI), the National Association of Bar Related Insurance Companies (NABRICO), the Insurance Bureau of Canada, and the Canadian Insurance Accountants Association.