June 13, 2020 17h36
The COVID-19 inspires lawyers to offer free advice to Canadians
The Canadian Press
TORONTO — The pandemic of the COVID-19 has inspired a group of young lawyers to create a project providing free legal advice across Canada.
The project called National Canadian Lawyers Initiative is to link people who need legal advice with professionals who can answer their questions and help them.
“The containment has created a myriad of legal problems for people,” observes the president and founder of the initiative, Alex Gift. But quickly, we realized that this is not just an issue related to the COVID-19, but a serious problem of access to justice.”
Unlike using a conventional legal Canadians wishing to get support through the platform in English, will not have to prove that they do not have the means to pay a lawyer. However, each customer will be limited to a maximum of five hours of legal services.
“We welcome everyone, assures Alex Don who was admitted to the Bar in the last year. The people who have the means to pay a lawyer have already. The people who are really in need will come to us”, he believes.
Up to now, more than 300 lawyers with a variety of expert as well as law students, some of whom have lost their jobs in the summer due to the health crisis, have signed a partnership agreement. The objective of the project is to offer a bank of more than 40,000 hours of legal services without charge to the population.
The majority of the lawyers participating are located in Ontario, but others have practiced law around the country.
Georgina Carson, who has 30 years of experience in family law, praised the initiative that she qualifies as inspirational, and to which she has agreed to participate with pleasure.
“I am particularly inspired to see that these are young lawyers who have taken this initiative. It is one of the beautiful things that emerges from all this that lives and that can help others in addition to enable students to gain experience”, commented to Me, Carson.
For the moment, she describes the approach as a means to provide notice urgent to the public. It is more of a yard than a deeper process to go to court.
To get help, he can simply register his personal details on the online platform, while specifying the nature of his legal problem. The team will then find a lawyer specialised in the field concerned, who will communicate with the client. When necessary, the attorneys may also turn to mentors more experienced who collaborate on the initiative.
The project was officially registered last month, as a non-profit organization. Its board of directors is composed of volunteers.
Already, dozens of people have entered into communication with the body. It is expected that the demand has exploded to the pace at which the project will be known.
Among the many legal issues caused by the COVID-19, we note the litigation of commercial leases and residential and breach of contract.