By Carly Romanow, PBLS Executive Director & Staff Lawyer
Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan (“PBLS”) has partnered with the Regina Public Library to pilot a Family Law Free Legal Clinic to address the growing demand for family legal services. PBLS is the provincial pro bono organization in Saskatchewan. We operate 11 Free Legal Clinics across the province and provide further services through our Panel Programs, which match meritorious legal matters with volunteer lawyers for limited or full representation services. Through the Free Legal Clinics, clients are booked an appointment to meet with a volunteer lawyer to receive up to an hour of free legal advice. In 2017, we booked over 1700 appointments, 41% of those appointments dealt with family law matters. In Regina, the Free Legal Clinic runs every Saturday morning (except on long weekends) at the Salvation Army Haven of Hope. Due to the high demand for our services, clients may wait up to 8 weeks to get a family law appointment at the Regina Free Legal Clinic.
To address this long wait period, we are partnering with the Regina Public Library to pilot an additional Free Legal Clinic which would specifically deal with family law matters. The Family Law Free Legal Clinic will operate 1-2 evenings per month at the downtown location of the Regina Public Library starting January 2019. Volunteer lawyers will see up to six clients in 30 minute appointments from 5:30-8:30pm on Monday evenings. Volunteer lawyers would not have an obligation to assist the client outside of the appointment time. The time commitment would be 3-6 clinic shifts throughout the year.
By volunteering with PBLS, you are able to provide quality legal services to those most in need. All clients are screened to ensure they meet our income eligibility. Clients are served on a first come, first serve basis with no prior appointments being booked. Our organization assists Saskatchewan’s most vulnerable populations, including domestic violence survivors, and low-income families. If you are interested in assisting with this program or have any questions about any of our other programs, please contact Carly Romanow at firstname.lastname@example.org or my direct line 306-569-6233.
The Third Annual Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week was held October 20 to 26. Thank you to the week’s contributors and participants. View highlights and announcements from the week below.
Justice and health stakeholders gather for Medical-Legal Partnerships Conference (October 17, a pre-week event).
College of Law Small Urban and Rural Committee organizes Rural Firm Tour (October 19, a pre-week event).
Run for Justice Fundraiser held in support of CLASSIC (October 20).
Pro Bono Students Canada hosts Volunteer Appreciation Event (October 22).
Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Justice Studies host public forum on Restorative Action Program (October 22).
A call to action to end stigma surrounding mental illness in the legal profession during Saskatchewan Law Review Lecture (October 23).
Benefits of Diversity CPD sessions hosted (October 23 and 24).
Free Legal Resources Fair held at Saskatoon Public Library (October 25).
Reconciliation, Decolonization, Indigenization discussed during week.
SALI Project Advertising Campaign launched.
Announcement released by CLASSIC and International Women of Saskatoon on improved access to language and literacy placement testing.
Dress Like a Pro Bono Lawyer Friday launched in support of PBLS.
Announcement on Child Support Recalculation Service.
New volunteer opportunity with PBLS announced.
Have ideas for the next Access to Justice Week? Contact email@example.com.
PASS IT ON! SUBMIT YOUR BITE-SIZED ACCESS TO JUSTICE NEWS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE BULLETIN TO firstname.lastname@example.org AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE BULLETIN.
By Jakaeden Frizzell, CPD Program Coordinator
The Law Society was delighted to present the informative family law seminar Through the Eyes of the Child with The Honorable Justice Turcotte as host. We held the event at TCU Place in Saskatoon on Tuesday, November 20th and in Regina on Wednesday, November 21st at the Delta.
The morning sessions featured our main presenter and clinical psychologist Dr. Craig Childress who gave insight into his Attachment-Based Model of Parental Alienation (AB-PA) and its application to high conflict divorce, specifically focusing on the relationship between parent and child. The lecture continued with a discussion about Dr. Childress’ AB-PA pilot program work with family courts in Houston, Texas and the use of assessment focused treatment in divorce proceedings.
The first afternoon session was comprised of presentations from local professionals regarding various resources available for high-conflict divorce. Participants heard from Connie Lupichuk and Leanne Leedahl of Aspire Too who use an innovative approach to coach parent skills and ultimately reduce the impact of conflict for children in potentially high conflict divorce cases. Coralee Peterson of the Family Justice Services Branch with the Government of Saskatchewan took attendees through the services available from their office. Kim Miller, a consultant with the Government of Saskatchewan’s Dispute Resolution Office discussed high-conflict mediation and reviewed proposed changes to mandatory mediation for family law in Saskatchewan. Finally, participants were presented with a look at some new ways of delivering Family Law services from Charmaine Panko of Panko Collaborative Law & Mediation and some alternative professional services from former lawyer and separation specialist Lana Wickstrom.
The afternoon concluded with the panel discussion When Court is Necessary. In Saskatoon, Justice Turcotte, Jim Vogel Q.C, Dr. Childress, and Kim Miller provided some insight into this topic as well as some best practice strategies for court proceedings. They were joined for the Regina session by Coralee Peterson.
The Law Society of Saskatchewan would like to thank Dr. Childress for travelling all the way from California to share his expertise at this in-depth and informative seminar. We would also like to thank our guest speakers for sharing their knowledge and guidance on this topic. To our participants, thank you for your attendance and thoughtful participation throughout the day.
By Alan Kilpatrick
The Saskatoon Public Library’s Frances Morrison branch hosted a free Legal Resources Fair during Saskatchewan’s Third Access to Justice Week. The fair featured a tradeshow, legal assistance clinics, and presentations on legal topics.
The fair’s bustling trade show included representatives from non-profit, government, and community organizations. It gave members of the public a chance to connect with Saskatoon’s legal service providers.
Volunteer lawyers and law students from the Ministry of Justice, Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan, and Pro Bono Students Canada hosted a free walk-in family law information clinic. Lawyers from CJC & Co. LLP volunteered to host a free walk-in wills and estates information clinic
Law Society Librarian’s Ken Fox and Alan Kilpatrick were proud to attend the trade show and to connect with members of the public who had questions about legal information.
Hosting a fair like this aligns naturally with the mission of public libraries. CREATE Justice explains further on its website:
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, we are able to help meet the legal needs of Saskatoon citizens with the tradeshow of service providers, a walk-in family law information clinic, and a walk-in wills & estates information clinic.
The Law Society Library is looking forward to participating in the Regina Public Library’s annual Legal Resources Fair in Winter 2019.
Create Justice. (2018, October). Saskatchewan access to justice week. Retrieved from https://law.usask.ca/createjustice/saskatchewan-access-to-justice-week.php
Legal Sourcery. (2018, October 24). Free Legal Resources Fair – Saskatoon. Retrieved from https://lsslib.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/free-legal-resources-fair-saskatoon/
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 Jenneth Hogan
The Law Society was delighted to present it’s first full-day session co-hosted by the Canadian Bar Association, The Benefits of Diversity. We hosted the sessions first at the Radisson Hotel in Saskatoon on Tuesday, October 23rd and then in Regina on Wednesday October 24th at the Delta.
The morning sessions started off with keynote speaker, author and founder of bhasin consulting inc. Ritu Bhasin, LL.B MBA, who took participants on an interactive journey identifying their own internalized biases and the self-limiting beliefs and behaviours that often accompany them. Bhasin then provided participants with the background knowledge and skills that are vital in understanding and interrupting those biases – both conscious and unconscious – and the tools required to incorporate these practices into their workplace environments and day-to-day interactions.
The morning ended on an informative note as Curtis Woloschuk, Government of Saskatchewan, and Dr. Monica Hwang, University of Saskatoon, walked participants through Saskatchewan’s ever-changing demographic landscape highlighting the effect of said changes and the challenges and benefits they present. Dr. Stuart Wilson from the University of Regina facilitated this portion of the program, along with Woloschuk, at the Regina seminar.
The afternoon was comprised of two panel discussions, the first of which was made up of individuals from underrepresented groups in the profession and centered around lived-experiences and personal perspectives on the impact of bias. The second panel took a closer look at these challenges from a workplace perspective and offered up strategies for incorporating diversity into, and achieving inclusion within, an organization to improve overall business function and morale.
The Law Society of Saskatchewan would like to thank the Canadian Bar Association for their part in hosting such a unique and important seminar. We would also like to thank our guest speakers for sharing their experiences, knowledge and guidance on such a personal (and often-times quite sensitive) topic. Your insights and guidance are invaluable. To our participants, thank you for bringing light to the challenges that surround diversity and for playing their role in becoming a profession that’s more inclusive, empowered and authentic.