We’re Happy to Help.
Progressive people do progressive work even when they are not paid for it and Dan and Leif are proud to put their values into practice each day in the legal sphere. They met as volunteers at a non-profit that provides free legal services to low-income individuals. Leif and Dan are driven by a desire to do good legal work for clients who do good.
These values are built into LeBlanc Jensen. We believe we can most effectively contribute to a just and sustainable world when we control our own work, and we started LeBlanc Jensen so that we could do work we believe in. We believe law can be a force for positive social change, instead of being used against workers, organizers, and everyday people.
Dan and Leif continue to take on pro bono work, and LeBlanc Jensen donates 5% of gross revenue to environmental charities in the prairies. They have each done hundreds of hours of pro bono work, representing people who the odds are stacked against. Leif and Dan each have a young child, which increases their motivation to work for a better world.
Despite the uncertainty and tension that often accompanies legal situations, we believe that there is lightheartedness and joy in this work. Our lives can feel dominated by the threat of overlapping social and environmental crises, but there is joy in working with others for a better world.
Meet the Team.
A longer table — not a higher fence
Witnessing the power of working people had a big impact on my perspective as a lawyer today. I grew up around rural, working people and I try to bring these influences into my legal work. My single mother supported 3 kids on her receptionist’s wage. My family occasionally relied on their community to have enough. There was always enough, but rarely more than that.
My mom remarried when I was 8. Len had held a good, unionized job in a flour mill, and had earned a good pension. A unionized worker in the household made a huge difference. We remained decidedly working class but could take semi-annual vacations out-of-province, go to restaurants sometimes and participate in sports of our choosing. I learned that unions and unionized jobs change lives!
Once we had enough, we built a longer table rather than a higher fence. We gave back and supported those that needed it, as we’d once been supported. Prairie values of looking out for one another were modelled in our home.
Fighting for Fairness
In my second year of university, I realized that I had the grades to get into law or social work. I asked my biological father – then a federal prisoner – which profession he thought could do more good for people like him. He responded that in his view “a lawyer is like a social worker with a club” – in that they can force others to treat people fairly instead of merely asking them to do so. It rang true, and I entered Law School at the University of Saskatchewan.
I entered law school with a vague sense that our laws treat some people better than others. While working at a poverty law clinic through school, I saw how that occurred. I not only learned why we should use law to protect good jobs, stable housing, government openness, and prisoners’ access to medication – among other things – but how to do that. I learned that law can be an incredibly powerful tool when used in unconventional ways and on behalf of historically underrepresented groups.
While learning the practical and political sides of law in school, I also earned academic success including graduating with distinction, serving on the editorial board of the Saskatchewan Law Review and earning the award for top appellate advocate. In university, I learned about the law – including that it can be used both to open prison doors and to lock them.
Finding joy in law “For the Rest of Us”
Since becoming a lawyer in 2016, I’ve worked to practice law “for the rest of us” – using law for those who it’s been used against, including unions, organizers and changemakers. This has led me to work for unions, legal aid clients facing imprisonment and activists. This focus led me to start LeBlanc Law in 2021, which has now become LeBlanc Jensen. Leif and I can do more good working together than we could separately. I’ve been lead counsel on dozens of litigation matters, including appearing before the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal on administrative, constitutional, and criminal matters. In addition to appearing at Saskatchewan’s highest court, I regularly run administrative hearings before tribunals.
Although we live under threat of crises – especially wealth inequality and environmental – and engage in serious work on behalf of serious people, I’m committed to lightheartedness and joy in the work. There is joy in working with others for a better world. There is joy too in my favourite activities of running, backcountry camping, cycling, watching my daughter learn new things, and eating copious amounts of pancakes.
I’m happiest when living on both apparent extremes: defending good union jobs from relentless assaults while enjoying the intellectual challenge of my own job, defending land defenders while enjoying natural landscapes with my loved ones, and standing with community builders while I build my own community through simple acts and food sharing. I try to bring this tension – these complementing sides – to all that I do.
Off to walk the picket line
Solidarity is something I learned about early on in my life. I grew up in a household where both parents were members of the teachers’ union. I remember seeing them go off to work and, sometimes, going off to walk the picket line. Most of the time they walked the picket line, they were not going to benefit directly from what the union was fighting for, but they did it anyway because they believed in solidarity and that the unions’ membership – as a whole – would benefit from a fair contract.
Helping people rise
Growing up, I knew that I wanted to be either a teacher, a social worker, or a lawyer. All of these felt like causes where I could do work which would help people rise. Eventually, I went to law school at the University of Saskatchewan, where I spent as much time as possible working and volunteering at the poverty law clinic.
I saw that while law is often used to maintain power over people, law can also be used to carve out victories for people who are often unrepresented, or underrepresented, within the legal system. I also graduated with distinction, was on the editorial board of the Saskatchewan Law Review, earned awards for my community work, and was the valedictorian in my graduating year. Throughout, I tried to learn not only how the law worked, but how to make it work for workers.
When the deck is stacked against you
Since becoming a lawyer in 2015, I have worked for unions, families, and individuals who feel that the deck is stacked against them. I have litigated at administrative tribunals in hotels, tribunal offices, administrative offices, and prisons. I have appeared at all levels of court, from rural court centers to the Supreme Court of Canada.
I am also pursuing a Master’s in law at the University of Victoria, and in 2022, moved back to the prairies and joined Leblanc Jensen. Dan and I can do more good working together than we can separately.
For most of us, work is a big part of our lives. It is how we support our families, part of how we contribute to society, and part of how we socialize with others. Working with people who share common values – of solidarity, justice, and of community – is an incredible privilege.
Canada, and more specifically the Prairies, are going through unprecedented change: economic, social, and environmental. These changes are unprecedented, and getting through them requires both skill and gratitude – gratitude for the ability to interact with nature, to work with others in community, and to be with our families.
Contact us about your case.
LeBlanc Jensen practices primarily in Treaty 1 and Treaty 4 territory; traditional home of the Metis.