December 14, 2023 – CBA Alberta Editorial Committee
Excerpt from CBA article: Alberta Firms Make the Season Bright
As we enter the 2023-2024 holiday season, we at Law Matters would like to recognize and celebrate law firms that give back to the community. Across the province and every year, members of the legal community take numerous initiatives that serve and support the wider community. Beyond legal work, the legal community acts to improve the lives of those around them. This is particularly evident in smaller regions around Alberta, where law firms are an important part of the fabric of their communities. This year, we are spotlighting two regional firms as fine examples of the positive impact of the legal community on greater society.
Donna Purcell QC Law has its head office in Red Deer County and they wrote about their passion for community.
Community is the heart of Donna Purcell QC Law. Donna Purcell QC Law was founded at the start of the Pandemic in July of 2020 as a hybrid cloud-based law firm focused on advocating for disruptive digital transformation to improve access to justice through remote work opportunities, videoconferencing, automation and digital records. The firm maintains bricks-and-mortar offices across the province to ensure nobody is left behind regardless of their access to or capacity to deal with technology and to accommodate the need for “wet ink” signatures on many documents. When Donna Purcell, KC, Chief Innovation Officer started the firm, she based it on this order of priorities: Planet, People, Partners, with the belief that when one supports and puts their planet and people first, success will follow. The firm supports each staff member in their community and charitable endeavours with a matching fund pool and an extra day off to accommodate their own volunteer priorities.
The community can expect to see the firm supporting a wide array of events where members of the firm are often organizing, volunteering, and sponsoring the event (including start up events promoting the values of the firm). In 2023, Donna and her team, along with her and her daughters’ newly founded Breaking the Mould Foundation, sponsored, donated to and volunteered with dozens of community organizations including; the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre (as a presenting sponsor for their inaugural She is… Leadership Conference on International Women’s Day), Team Alex (Suicide Prevention Society), Phoenix Taekwon-do Club (2023 Girls on Fire), Hindu Cultural Society of Central Alberta, African Caribbean Centre of Central Alberta (Inaugural Afro-Caribbean Fest; Power of a Girl; Leadership Conference), 10 Peaks Innovation Student Conference, Legal Archive Society of Alberta, Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre, Pound It! Hip Hop Studio, Mamas for Mamas, United Way, Edmonton New Shadow Theater Society, Strive Dance Academy Society, and various foodbanks during the holiday season.
To support the firm’s social impact endeavours, the firm started a pilot project over the summer – a Social Impact Hub at the Market held at Red Deer Polytechnic, which sees around 8,000 visitors every weekend, to provide an outreach platform for local charitable and other organizations including: Red Deer Native Friendship Society, Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre, Central Alberta Humane Society, Canadian Parents for French, Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network, Smart MTX and Elevate IP among others, with Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre’s new Mia’s Closet being the inaugural group. The Social Impact Hub provides both the platform as well as tools for local community groups and nonprofits to reach a larger audience base.
A Wills and Estates digital survey created by the firm’s legal innovation interns was also conducted at the Hub, to obtain the data to advocate to government for digital wills, powers of attorney and health directives given that more than half of Canadians, especially women, do not have these important documents. Access to justice, youth, mental health, the arts and underrepresented groups are key motivators in the firm’s giving back.