QLA gifted $200,000 from Toronto law firm

Donation will be paid out over five years, easing SCI losses

Queen's Legal Aid received a $200,000 donation on Wednesday.
Journal File Photo
Bogoroch & Associates LLP donated $200,000 to Queen’s Legal Aid (QLA) on Wednesday for support after the clinic suffered from funding cuts to Legal Aid Ontario and the impact of the Student Choice Initiative (SCI).
In an interview with The Journal, QLA director Blair Crew said the contribution is the largest private donation QLA has ever received. The clinic lost $22,000 as a result of the SCI and faced additional cuts when the province reduced funding for Legal Aid Ontario.
“We’re absolutely delighted to receive a donation of this size,” Crew said. “It’s a very significant contribution.”
QLA provides a range of legal services to low-income area residents and students of both Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College. Every year, QLA provides free legal assistance to around 900clients and makes 1,400 referrals to individuals.
The donation will make a significant difference to the sustainability of QLA’s operations going forward, Crew said. 
“Between those two sources together, we were looking at a reduction that was something in the neighborhood of about 15 per cent of our budget, approximately $100,000 a year,” he added. “This donation by itself is going to make up about half of that deficit.” 
According to Crew, the donation will be paid out over five years, making the payout $40,000 per year. “It’s greatly appreciated. It demonstrates a sense of commitment to the ideals of social justice,” he said. 
QLA also offers paid summer work for law students. Crew said the donations will allow QLA to continue offering this employment. 
“So specifically, with respect to the number of paid positions for law students during the summer, it means we’re going to be able to sustain the same number, despite some cuts,” Crew said. 
Crew added that Mr. Bogoroch, the donor, hopes his action will  be an example-leading donation. 
“[Bogoroch] hopes that other people are going to hear about this and other people will want to continue to support the same way that he has,” Crew said. 
“His intent is very much like a lightning rod and [he] hopes that it attracts and inspires other people to do the very same thing that he did.”  

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