Luke’s Place training: Using the Virtual Legal Clinic

Thunder Bay: view looking east across the bay

Thunder Bay at sunset

Luke’s Place staff visited Thunder Bay this week to introduce workers in Northwestern Ontario to the Virtual Legal Clinic.

In an effort to support access to justice in rural and remote communities, the Clinic connects women who have been subjected to abuse and are involved in family court to lawyers using video conferencing. Women’s advocates play a key role in the Clinic by identifying women who need legal advice, helping women prepare to speak with a lawyer, accompanying women during lawyer meetings, and supporting them to follow through the lawyer’s advice.

Nineteen frontline workers from a variety of community agencies in the Thunder Bay region learned about the Virtual Legal Clinic. The event included a demonstration of a Clinic consultation using the video conferencing software and introduced workers to one of the Clinic lawyers.

Our legal director, Pamela Cross, also delivered family law training and facilitated lively discussions with workers on mandatory charging, child custody and access issues, evidence collection, and systemic challenges.

Workers prepared for the training by accessing our online course about the Virtual Legal Clinic. This e-learning covers such topics as common family law issues for women who have been subjected to abuse, working with lawyers, supporting women to tell their stories, how to use the Virtual Legal Clinic, and self-care.

The Clinic team will visit Sioux Lookout and Lanark County as well. To book a Luke’s Place training in your community, contact projectco@lukesplace.ca.  To learn more about the Virtual Legal Clinic, visit: http://lukesplace.ca/for-women/lukes-place-virtual-legal-clinic/

The Virtual Legal Clinic is available with financial support from the Law Foundation of Ontario, the McLean Foundation and the George Lunan Foundation. Luke’s Place is solely responsible for all content.

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