Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP has partnered with the University of Toronto chapter of the Pro Bono Students Canada to launch the Tax Court of Canada Pilot Project.
The project, the first law firm initiative of its kind in Canada, will see six law students represent, under the supervision of FMC tax litigators, low-income individuals before the Tax Court of Canada on a pro bono basis.
The initial group of students was recruited in the spring of 2010 after a competitive application process. The students will begin representing clients this fall.
In addition to assisting the community and broadening the students’ practical learning, the goal of the project is to help law students recognize the need for pro bono work throughout their legal careers.
If the Toronto pilot is a success, PBSC plans to roll the project out to every Canadian city where PBSC has chapters and where FMC has regional offices, including Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa and Montréal.
The pilot project was developed at the suggestion of the chief justice of the Tax Court of Canada in response to the “significant number of unrepresented appellants appearing before the court,” according to PBSC.
In September the project received a Lexpert Zenith Award in the “Law Firm Contribution to Legal Education” category.