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Bringing our corporate responsibility to life
Over the years, our corporate social responsibility (CSR) program has intrinsically become a part of LAWPRO’s culture and identity. Here are highlights of our contributions to the profession, charity and employee wellness in 2018.
Fostering the legal profession
LAWPRO continued its efforts to reach students and new lawyers by participating at the Toronto Lawyers Association Articling Head Start program, making presentations to the French language common law program at the University of Ottawa, the English language Law Practice Program (“LPP”) at Ryerson University, the French language LPP at the University of Ottawa, by delivering a CPD to new real estate lawyers, and making presentations to students in the Law Clerk/Legal Assistant programs at Durham College.
In its seventh year, LAWPRO sponsorship of the annual award of the Caron Wishart Memorial Scholarship went to University of Toronto Faculty of Law student Aya Schechner. The scholarship, managed by the University of Toronto, was funded by donations from LAWPRO, Caron’s family members, and members and organizations of the legal profession. The amount raised was matched by the Province of Ontario, to create a fully-endowed fund in excess of $100,000.
LAWPRO encourages employee involvement in a wide range of professional associations and groups that represent diverse segments of the legal profession. These activities help us gain insight into members’ priorities and concerns and allow us to highlight how LAWPRO’s efforts and activities are supporting the legal community.
Promoting wellness and balance
LAWPRO promotes well-being by providing approximately half of the funding for the operation by Homewood Health of the Law Society’s arm’s-length Member Assistance Program (MAP). LAWPRO has promoted the program and the services it offers in presentations, print publications, online and through social media.
In November 2018, LAWPRO’s Human Resources department offered its annual flu shot clinic for employees.
Green & Wellness Committee programming in 2018 included a lunchtime skate (in cooperation with the Social Committee) and three Wednesday Wellness bike rides.
Supporting the broader Canadian community
Each year, LAWPRO staff nominate charities for inclusion in the company’s Denim Friday charitable giving program and staff vote on the nominees. Employee donations are matched by the company. LAWPRO raised a total $32,450 for its five chosen recipient charities in 2018, up from $31,300 the previous year. Donations of $6,490 went to each of Fanconi Canada, Ovarian Cancer Canada, the Toronto Humane Society, the Good Shepherd Refuge Social Ministries, and Food Allergy Canada.
LAWPRO encourages employees to take a paid day off each year to volunteer their services in support of an eligible charity. In 2018, employees donated three days in support of their chosen charities. Charities that benefited from help by LAWPRO staff included International Justice Mission, Toronto Star Santa Claus Fund and St. Agnes Kouying Tsao Parish.
LAWPRO was proud to be a sponsor of the 2018 Lawyers Feed the Hungry Bowl-a-Thon, Billiards with the Bar, and Courthouse Rocks to help raise funds to pay for the meals served to the needy. LAWPRO also participated as purchaser of tickets to the Ernestine Affair, a fundraiser for Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter, the LEAF (Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund) annual fundraising dinner to commemorate Persons Day, and sponsored the Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade Relay for Life.
A group of LAWPRO staff get together a few times a year to donate blood. As part of the “Partners for Life” program, group members pledge annually to donate a certain number of units. In 2018, LAWPRO staff donated 29 units of blood – enough to save up to 87 lives.
In 2018, the Underwriting and Customer Service department opted to sponsor a family through the registered charity of Holiday Helpers. Through fundraising efforts and donations they were able to donate close to $1,900 worth of donations including clothing, household items and gift cards.