Cunningham Swan presented a commemorative gift of $125,000 to the Queen’s Law Clinics during the local firm’s 125th anniversary celebration on June 18. With this donation, which amounts to $1,000 given for every year since the firm first hung a shingle in 1894, Cunningham Swan is furthering its long history of giving back to the Kingston community.

“This gift is a measure of the firm’s strong commitment not only to this community, but also to facilitating access to justice within it,” says Andrea Risk, Law’99, managing partner of Cunningham, Swan, Carty, Little & Bonham LLP. “Our firm is thrilled to support the legal services that law students provide to the community through the Queen’s Law Clinics, and the excellent training that the clinics, in turn, provide to future lawyers. With this donation, we recognize our long-standing support of, and commitment to, the Queen’s Faculty of Law and the Queen’s Law Clinics.”

The Queen’s Law Clinics have been a vital part of Queen’s Law for almost 50 years and provide pro-bono law services to members of the Kingston community. “Our students work directly with the public, under the supervision of legal counsel, providing access to justice in areas ranging from family to business law,” says Dean Bill Flanagan. “It is gratifying to see the local legal community’s support for the clinics – in particular Cunningham Swan’s generosity in providing this gift to support the Clinics’ continued work.”

“This is an extremely challenging time for any agency that provides frontline services to the most vulnerable in our community,” says Karla McGrath, LLM’13, Executive Director of the Queen’s Law Clinics. “Private support is becoming essential to the maintenance of basic services. And, while all support is important, this donation is especially meaningful as it comes from legal colleagues, who recognize the importance of our work and of our programs.”

Cunningham Swan currently consists of 34 lawyers who provide a full range of legal services to individuals, families, business and public sector clients throughout Eastern Ontario. They offer legal expertise in Business, Family, Estates, Litigation, Real Estate, Labour and Employment, Municipal, Planning, Education and Health law. Past substantial philanthropic gifts have been made to Pathways to Education Programs, Kingston University Hospitals Foundation, Limestone Learning Foundation, Hospice Kingston, St. Lawrence College, The United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, KFL&A Mental Health and Addictions

Established in 1957, Queen’s Law provides students with strong academic grounding as well as unique, experiential learning opportunities. Since 1971, with the launch of Queen’s Legal Aid, the Clinics have provided a range of essential legal services to some of the most marginalized in the local community. There are currently five pro bono clinics operating in downtown Kingston, including Queen’s Legal Aid and the Business, Elder, Family and Prison Law Clinics. The Clinics handle over 1,200 files per year and involve over 200 students annually, thus providing vital legal services to the community while, at the same time, delivering valuable hands-on learning experiences to its students.

See more photos from the celebratory event held at the Isabel Bader Centre for Performing Arts in our SmugMug gallery