Distinguished Service Awards

The Distinguished Service Awards are presented annually to our Edmonton Community Legal Centre volunteers and supporters who have contributed significantly to our organization and to client services.

2015 Recipients:

Dr. Anna Lund is a postdoctoral fellow and faculty of law lecturer at the University of Alberta. Anna has been a dedicated ECLC volunteer lawyer for three years, since 2013, assisting with various civil law matters, especially for those clients with bankruptcy law problems. In 2015, Anna volunteered for clinic twice a month, a total of 20 times, contributing a staggering 60 hours of summary legal advice to ECLC clients. She also volunteered at the legal hub at Homeless Connect and participated in our first annual Advice-a-thon in September 2015, and personally raised $1760 for the ECLC. We are so grateful for Anna’s enthusiastic support of the ECLC.

Wendy Danson has been an ECLC board member for the past five years, since April 2011. During that time, she was a member of the Advocacy Committee and the Nominating Committee, as well as attending virtually all of the ECLC’s special events and assisting with our biannual casino. The board and executive director benefited from her counsel when the ECLC immigration practice area expanded to include a staff lawyer and an immigration consultant. We have appreciated Wendy’s commitment to the ECLC over the past five years, and we wish her all the best in her recent retirement from her immigration practice at McCuaig Desrocher and her resignation from the ECLC board. Thank you Wendy!

Donald Cranston is a partner at Bennett Jones and has served the ECLC for the past eleven years as a volunteer lawyer, pro bono file lawyer, board member, and financial supporter. Don’s ECLC career began as a volunteer lawyer in 2005, when he began serving monthly at evening clinics. He joined the ECLC board in 2008, and served as board chair from 2008 – 2012. Under Don’s guidance as board chair, the ECLC increased dramatically in size and complexity, with 150% increases in annual budget and volunteer lawyers, and a 400% increase in client service. Don was elected as a Bencher to the Law Society of Alberta in 2014, and currently serves on a number of Law Society committees, including the Executive Committee. We are so grateful for Don’s humble service to the ECLC, and, although he will no longer be around the board table, we look forward to his future support and guidance.

Law Firm “Sustaining Funders”We would like to acknowledge the tremendous financial support of nine Edmonton law firms:  Bennett Jones, Bishop & McKenzie, Brownlee, Dentons, Duncan Craig, Field, McLennan Ross, Parlee McLaws, and Witten.  Each of these firms currently provides ongoing financial support to the ECLC by way of three-year funding commitments totalling $57,500 annually.  These funds have a direct impact on client service, since they contribute to the employment of one staff lawyer.  On an annual basis, this financial contribution translates to 230 low income people receiving additional legal advice and representation beyond our evening clinics.  In addition, owing to the staff lawyer role in supervising law students and articling students—in 2015 a total of 63 students—the impact of the financial support of these law firms will be multiplied in the years to come—in the direct exposure of law students to a poverty law practise and in fostering future pro bono service.  We extend sincere thanks to these nine law firms for supporting the ECLC in our access to justice mandate.

Five Years of Service

Amy Abbott; Sharon Au; Jenelle Butler; Wendy Danson; Adam Halliday; Scott MacMillan; Alexander Mosaico; Dan Peskett; Will Randall; Susan Wood; Christopher Young

Ten Years of Service

Don Cranston; Allyson Jeffs; Holly Turner