The number of legal services listed on the Clicklaw HelpMap continues to grow with 78 services offered in over 750 locations across BC! Recently, the Legal Services Society added their Provincial Court Family Duty Counsel and Supreme Court Family Duty Counsel programs to the map. Check out what’s available in your community: www.clicklaw.bc.ca/helpmap.
Now that Clicklaw has been up & running for closing in on a year (wow, time flies!), we’re learning more about how the site is being used. Among the more popular features on the site are the common questions, which offer good starting points for 80 questions that are, well, common. Over the last six months, here are the top 10 most visited common questions on Clicklaw:
- I am the executor of my mother’s will and am doing the work myself
- I’ve been dismissed (fired) without just cause
- I want to find out about getting BC disability benefits
- I’ve missed a few mortgage payments and am facing foreclosure
- How long will my EI last if I get laid off?
- I am being harassed by debt collectors. Are they allowed to do that?
- Our marriage is over; do we have to go to court?
- Should I have an enduring power of attorney or a representation agreement?
- I’m being sued in small claims court
- Can they search my school locker without my consent?
Want to get a flavour in less than 5 minutes for what the Clicklaw HelpMap offers? In this video posted on YouTube, we show you the top 5 things you can do on the HelpMap:
- You can search by community in British Columbia for someone who can help with legal problems.
- You can locate a result on the map (where we’re integrating with Google Maps).
- You can narrow your results down in a few different ways — by topic (e.g., show me only “Family law” services) or by type of help (e.g., show me only services that provide “legal advocacy, advice or representation”).
- You can start your search by clicking on a topic and narrow down from there.
- You can find services that are provided in languages other than English (by starting with a community in BC and narrowing down by language).
We’d love to hear your feedback on the Clicklaw HelpMap. Please consider taking our 3-minute Clicklaw feedback survey online, posting a comment here on this blog, or contacting us at email@example.com.
Cliff Thorstenson of the Nicola Valley Advocacy Centre has recently updated the 2008 Legal Help for Rural British Columbians legal guide. The updated 2009 guide, Legal Help for British Columbians: A Guide to Help Non-legal Professionals Make Legal Referrals for Clients, is now available on Clicklaw. The LawMatters project of Courthouse Libraries BC assisted with printing the update for distribution to all BC public and courthouse libraries.
HelpMap is a new feature that we’ve just added to Clicklaw this month. Integrated with Google Maps, HelpMap assists the public in finding those who can provide assistance with legal problems in their community. It also assists service providers who are making referrals for clients who have legal issues.
HelpMap includes information about free and low-cost legal services provided by groups including:
- pro bono clinics, community legal clinics, and legal aid offices
- court registries
- courthouse libraries
- organizations with community legal advocates,
- Native Courtworkers, and
- other law-related helping services
We will continue to add more services to HelpMap in the future. If you have any feedback about the new HelpMap, please post a comment below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.