Luke’s Place Virtual Legal Clinic: Information for lawyers

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Lawyers committed to access to justice are encouraged to join the Luke’s Place Virtual Legal Clinic. Be part of an innovative project that provides summary legal advice to survivors of intimate partner violence.

The Virtual Legal Clinic uses web-based video conferencing or the telephone to connect women in rural and remote communities to family law lawyers based elsewhere.

We welcome applications to the Virtual Legal Clinic from lawyers who are:

  • Interested in the issue of violence against women
  • Ready to try web-based video conferencing
  • Willing to participate in a self-directed, accredited 3 hour online training
  • Able to commit to approximately of 2 to 4 hours a month providing pro bono summary legal advice
  • Willing to provide feedback on consultations and the overall project

In return, this project can offer you:computer with 1 person on the screen

  • Free access to “Effective Lawyering with Clients Leaving Abusive Relationships“, a professional training on the issue of violence against women and its relationship with family law, accredited for 1 hour 20 minutes Professionalism Hours and eligible for up to 1 hour 10 minutes Substantive Hours, available online and on your own time
  • A manual and other resources about working with clients who have experienced abuse for you to use in your practice as well as in this project
  • Policies, procedures and protocols to support your work with the virtual clinic
  • Technical training and support
  • Ongoing support from the Luke’s Place Legal Director
  • The opportunity to be part of an innovative access to justice initiative that will improve the lives of vulnerable women and their children

PBLO has registered the Luke’s Place Virtual Legal Clinic project; it is LawPRO approved.

Interested lawyers should contact us at projectco@LukesPlace.ca.

Background

Before initiating this project, Luke’s Place undertook research into online legal service delivery. Our Virtual Legal Clinic report looks at similar projects in other jurisdictions and examines the opportunities and risks of using web-based technology.

In 2016, we worked with agencies in Northeastern Ontario to deliver the service. Women, workers and lawyers all told us they benefited from the project.

  • Women reported that they had a greater understanding of the law and more confidence in managing their legal cases.
  • Workers were relieved to connect clients to lawyers and reported learning lots about family law from the lawyers.
  • The lawyers reported learning a great deal from the experience too, and said that it felt great getting legal services to people who had limited options available.

The first phase was funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario, and we received support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for developing the course for lawyers.

In 2017, we’ve been able to expand the Clinic to the Northwest and rural Eastern areas with more support from the Law Foundation.

While financially supported by the foundations, Luke’s Place is solely responsible for all material.