Each year, lawyers in British Columbia volunteer hundreds of thousands hours of free legal services to better the communities they work and live in.

Here are some facts collected from the Law Society’s Annual Practice Declaration survey of 12,314 practising lawyers.

More than half of lawyers in BC volunteer free legal services

6,842 lawyers (55.5 per cent of all lawyers) provide an average of 51 hours of volunteer legal services a year, exceeding the benchmark set by the American Bar Association and Canadian Bar Association.

The value to the provincial economy of the estimated over 351,000 hours of free legal service donated by lawyers annually is more than $87 million dollars (calculated at $250 per hour, the average hourly rate for a lawyer with two to five years of experience according to a 2019 Canadian Lawyer survey).

The value to the public who otherwise cannot access legal services is immeasurable.

To volunteer or to find out more about volunteer legal services, visit Access Pro Bono.

40 per cent of lawyers in BC provide low cost legal services

4,912 lawyers indicate they provide an average of 94 hours of substantially reduced fees per year.

Nearly 10 per cent of lawyers provide legal aid

1,189 lawyers perform an average of 581 hours of legal aid, helping our society’s most vulnerable low-income communities navigate legal problems and mitigate serious further impacts to their lives.

Find out more about legal aid on the Legal Services Society’s website.

Other volunteer work

In addition to providing free or low cost legal services, lawyers engage in a variety of volunteer work, such as serving on boards for public interest organizations, providing public legal education, working on social justice and equality initiatives, donating to charities, and mentoring young lawyers and students. They bring their experience and expertise to a wide range of causes beyond the legal sector.