Access to Justice
By the Students of the Small Urban and Rural Committee
On October 19, 2018, the Small Urban and Rural Committee (SURC) hosted its annual Small Urban and Rural Firm Tour, this year choosing to visit Prince Albert. The tour offered an opportunity for students to meet with hosts and hear what opportunities in law are available and what they entail in a small urban setting.
Our tour began with stops at Novus Law Group and Parchomchuk Sherdahl Hunter Barristers and Solicitors, where students were given the opportunity to meet with lawyers and were given tours of the firms. At both firms students were informed of the diverse areas of law in which the firms practice, the opportunities that exist for lawyers in Prince Albert and similar small urban settings and any questions students may have had were answered.
After our firm visits, we were hosted by Administrative Judge Earl Kalenith, Regional Crown Prosecutor Cam Scott, Senior Crown Prosecutor Cynthia Alexander and received a tour of the Provincial Court house in Prince Albert followed by a tour of the offices of the crown prosecutor. During our time with Honorable Judge Kalenith, Mr. Scott, and Ms. Alexander, each spoke to the nature of their careers, the roles they entail and gave information on pursuing careers in their respective fields. Following the discussion, students were then invited to have coffee with our hosts and other members of the crown prosecutor’s office where they could ask any questions they may have had for any of our hosts.
SURC seeks to provide an opportunity or students to have exposure to careers in law in small urban and rural settings. This is achieved by connecting the students with the firms from these communities and SURC would like to extend a special thank you to all the firms and hosts from this year’s trip that welcomed us into their offices and gave time out of their schedules to make this year’s trip possible. We would also like to thank Shari Thompson, from the College of Law, for the time and effort she contributed behind the scenes in the planning of the trip and the CBA Saskatchewan Branch for their financial contribution, both of which made this trip possible.
By Cheryl Giesbrecht, CLASSIC Student Manager
Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC) started out Access to Justice Week with a Volunteer Appreciation Event! As one of PBSC’s community partners, the Community Legal Assistance Services for Saskatoon Inner City Inc (CLASSIC) teamed up with them to present a vital question for consideration by volunteers and others at the College as they enjoyed their coffee and candy: What do the words Decolonization, Reconciliation, and Indigenization mean to you, both professionally and in your personal life? The posterboard also travelled up to Professor Sarah Buhler’s Access to Justice class, and spent some time in the hallways and lawby of the College throughout the week. It was understandably difficult for many students to reduce their thoughts to the size of a stickie note, and so many interesting conversations took place around the board as well. We hope that these important conversations continue well beyond Access to Justice Week 2018.
By Alan Kilpatrick, Reference Librarian
It is widely recognized that access to justice is inadequate and legal services are becoming increasingly inaccessible. Fortunately, libraries across Canada are working together to improve access to legal information and create solutions to the barriers self-represented litigants face.
What are we doing at the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library? In the past four years, the Law Society Library has participated in a multitude of innovative access to legal information partnerships with justice, community, and library stakeholders. As an accessible source of legal information and an access to justice entry point, we:
- Are a founding partner of the Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project
- Provide the public with legal information assistance
- Host weekly family law clinics
- Provide Pro Bono Law and CLASSIC lawyers with free legal research assistance
- Teach public librarians in Saskatchewan how to provide legal information
- Teach self represented litigants about legal research at the Regina Public Library’s Legal Resource Fair
- Have doubled the coverage of Saskatchewan case law on CanLII
Click here to learn more about what the Law Society Library is actively doing to improve access to legal information and justice in Saskatchewan:
- Legal Information Innovation in Saskatchewan
- The Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project (SALI)
The Law Society is a proud partner of the Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project (SALI) and is pleased to announce the launch of the public campaign for this project. The objective of the SALI Project is to increase access to legal information for Saskatchewan residents through collaboration between justice stakeholders and trusted intermediaries – we have focused on partnering with library stakeholders.
By way of background, the SALI Project partners hosted a conference on October 20-21, 2017, during the Second Annual Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week. The primary purpose for the event was to bring together a large number of public library representatives from rural, remote, and small urban centres in Saskatchewan as well as experts in the topic area, to further address how greater access to legal information can be achieved through partnering with libraries.
Since October 2017, the project partners have been collaborating to implement the ideas for next steps that were identified during the conference. Some of the next steps have involved collaborating to establish a “Detecting Legal Problems” webinar and resources that were distributed to all public library staff this summer, a data collection project that will launch in November, and an advertising campaign, to make the public more aware of public libraries as an ‘access to justice entry point’ (i.e. an accessible place to find legal information) – please see the videos for the campaign below.
Consumer law full-length video.
Power of attorney and guardianship full-length video.
More information on the project can also be found on the SALI website.
The Law Society is a proud supporter of Access to Justice Week. Please visit with our knowledgeable Reference Librarians, Ken Fox and Alan Kilpatrick, tomorrow evening at the Free Legal Resources Fair being held at Saskatoon Public Library.
Saskatoon Public Library’s mission includes providing free and open access to resources as well as providing community spaces where people and ideas meet. Through the Legal Resource Fair, they are able to help meet the legal needs of Saskatoon citizens with the tradeshow of service providers, a free workshop on the role libraries can play in helping people access legal information, a walk-in family law information clinic, and a walk-in wills & estates information clinic.
One of the main attractions of the Free Legal Resource Fair is the tradeshow which gives members of the public in Saskatchewan an opportunity to connect and receive information from legal non-profit, government departments, and community organizations. The tradeshow is designed to allow a come-and-go style interaction.
- Time: 4:00-8:00pm
- Location: Frances Morrison Central Library – Main Level, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
- Target Audience: Members of the public and public library staff
- Contributors: Various justice stakeholders and Frances Morrison Central Library
Other activities include:
- Walk-In Family Law Information Clinic
- Walk-In Wills & Estates Information Clinic
- Numerous Legal Information Presentations
Please stay tuned to Legal Sourcery for more information about Access to Justice Week and visit the CREATE Justice website for more information.
Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week 2018
Pro Bono Students Canada Volunteer Appreciation Event
By Geneva Houlden and Coleman Owen; Pro Bono Students Canada SK Coordinators
During the lunch hour on Monday, Pro Bono Students Canada treated students at the College of Law to candy and coffee (nothing gathers students together quite like some free snacks). One goal of the event was to extend appreciation to the students who have worked so hard this year with different organizations in Saskatchewan. Volunteers with PBSC help to increase access to justice and will ideally develop a desire to continue with pro bono work throughout their careers. This event is but a small token of appreciating for their contribution.
The other goal of the event was to help initiate the access to justice conversation on campus. When students engage topics like they did, the campus community becomes a livelier and more vibrant place. To help make that happen, Cheryl, a Student Manager at CLASSIC, was present to inform students about the work that CLASSIC does – particularly with its Decolonization Project. Students were asked to think about the meaning they see in the words Decolonization, Reconciliation, and Indigenization.
This week is a time to spread the word about what access to justice means, but more importantly it is a time to engage with students and the public on why these ideas are important. Following law school, many students will not be exposed to access to justice issues unless they actively seek them out. PBSC wants to make sure that students will come to see pro bono work as an integral part of their careers and come to appreciate access to justice as a crucial goal within the justice system.
By Kylee Wilyman, Race Coordinator, Second Year Student, College of Law
Just Rights, a University of Saskatchewan law student group, had fun hosting the first-ever Run for Justice – a 5 km fun run – as part of the A2J Week. We managed to fundraise a considerable amount for CLASSIC and had a wealth of support from both the student body and the community. Thank you to everyone who made it out, the event wouldn’t have been a success without you!