New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission

legal aid.jpgThe Organization: 

NBLASC provides legal assistance to low income individuals for certain criminal and family law matters. Though they are primarily supported through public funding, they operate at arm’s length from the provincial government. The Commission provides legal services through both its permanent staff lawyers and also private lawyers who accept certificates and provide duty counsel services.

The Project: 

PBSC’s partnership began in 2014/2015 with one student being placed with the Commission’s Family Law Services Division. This student is placed as part of PBSC’s national Family Law Project which was founded to help combat the rise in self-represented litigants in family law proceedings. The student has the opportunity to shadow a lawyer in court and sat in on motions, case conferences, client meetings and discussions with opposing counsel regarding settlement. The student will also draft Affidavits, Notice of Motions, Applications and Financial Statements from precedents and information provided from clients in writing. There was also the chance for the student to conduct legal research on a variety of issues regarding custody and access. To read a testimonial from last year’s volunteer in the Family Law Services Division, please click here.

A few years ago, this project expanded to the Criminal Law Services Division. The student placed on this project will carry out similar work and will assist the legal aid lawyers with file preparation. This would be an excellent placement for anyone with an interest in criminal law who is looking for hands-on experience.

Students placed with either Criminal Law or Family Law Services will be expected to show up once a week for a half-day shift where they will work closely with a staff lawyer. NBLASC is flexible in regards to the timing of this shift and is willing to work around the student’s schedule. Priority is given to upper year students who have taken or are enrolled in either family law or criminal procedure.

For more information on NBLASC, please visit their website.

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