A Lasting Impression

by Josh Kerr | Dec 15, 2023


Originally from Regina, Dave Hill opened his legal practice in Winnipeg after spending part of his youth in Toronto and attending Dartmouth University.

Dave considered staying in the United States, but circumstances, particularly the end of the Vietnam War and immigration issues, brought him back to Winnipeg. He initially pursued law school but dropped out in his first year, unhappy with the experience. Ultimately, he was convinced to return for a second year, though his mindset remained. In his third year, however, his passion for litigation became the engine for his law career.

After completing his legal education, Dave joined Aikins MacAulay, where he honed his skills as a litigator until 1988, when he started his firm with Sherri Walsh, which became known as Hill Sokalski Walsh, as it is today.

Despite not being a Jewish community member, Dave established a Community Impact Fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba in 2016. Since then, for eight consecutive years, he has made an annual contribution to his fund, showing his commitment to supporting a community outside his own. Why is that?

Over time, Dave developed deep connections with the Jewish community in Winnipeg. He had played hockey and golf against several Jewish players, forming solid friendships. These relationships became instrumental in his career, as individuals like Mitchie Cohen, Joel Weinstein, Martin Freedman, and Marshall Rothstein supported him and sent him valuable clients, allowing his practice to flourish. In return, he now helps the Jewish community do so as well.

"These friends and colleagues I've made over time truly allowed me to get to where I am today," Hill says. "On top of that, I've always admired the resiliency of the Jewish Community. I can't imagine what it is like to be part of a group of people who have been persecuted for their entire existence."

Dave's sense of responsibility to give back and his appreciation for the broader community have led him to support various causes that he sees as essential for the community despite not being where he spends his time. For example, Hill has volunteered for and donated to the Winnipeg Football Club, including sitting on their Board of Directors, while admitting he is not a fan of CFL football.

"My mother always emphasized the importance of giving back to those in need," says Hill. "It's a passion I inherited from my mother. If you're in a position to give back, you should."