In true ‘Border City’ fashion, Pro Bono Law Alberta (PBLA) and Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan (PBLS) joined forces to provide residents with free legal advice through a one-day legal clinic in Lloydminster on Friday, September 18, 2015. The clinic provided an opportunity for individuals in the Lloydminster community and surrounding area to meet with a volunteer lawyer for up to 30 minutes of free legal advice in a semi-private setting.
Stephanie Dobson of Meridian Law Group in Lloydminster commented, “It is really important for lawyers to give back to the community and this was an excellent opportunity to bring the legal community together to give back in a big way. Access to Justice is so important in our society, and the Lloydminster legal community felt that this legal clinic would give direction to many individuals who otherwise may not be able to access a lawyer’s services. We are so pleased with the support we received.”
In the weeks leading up to the clinic, 95 community agencies and organizations were contacted by mail and email to promote the clinic to their clients. A designated phone line was set up for residents in both Alberta and Saskatchewan so that individuals could book an appointment. Ads placed in community newspapers and online community calendars also generated positive media coverage. The promotion of the event resulted in 64 booked appointments and an additional 13 walk-ins.
At the clinic, services were provided in three legal areas: legal information; summary legal advice in specific areas; and assessment and referrals to legal representation services such as Legal Aid Alberta and other legal resources. Through the combined efforts of the event partners and volunteers a total of 66 individuals received free legal advice, assessment and referral.
Pro Bono Law Alberta and Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan look forward to building on the success of this year’s event to host similar events into the future.