This listing is managed directly by Roster Staff. To see full profiles for professionals on the list, which contains information about fee structure, supported languages and more, visit the Roster website here.
What are Unbundled Services?
In short, unbundled legal services means clients pay for some assistance depending on: (1) what they want help with and (2) what they can afford.
Most people would like to have the advice and assistance of a family lawyer, but hiring a lawyer to represent them from beginning to end is often too expensive and makes it difficult to predict total costs.
Unlike the traditional full-representation model, a lawyer providing unbundled legal services works on, and charges you for, only those tasks that you agree to in advance. You start by meeting your lawyer and, as a team, make a plan to address your legal problem. The entire matter is broken down into tasks and you choose which tasks you want help with and which ones you will handle on your own. This approach is flexible, and can be adapted to meet your needs including your budget and your comfort level with managing your own legal affairs.
For example, if you are representing yourself in court you may want a lawyer’s help with drafting a document or pre-trial advice. If you are resolving your dispute through an out-of-court process like mediation, an unbundled lawyer can provide legal advice before mediation or draft a binding agreement after mediation.
Do you know a lawyer or paralegal who is interested in joining?
Send them to this page on the Courthouse Libraries BC website, which offers a Sign Up link to join the BC Family Unbundling Roster, and a toolkit to assist and guide in the provision of unbundled family legal services in a safe and effective way. These core documents have been prepared with the assistance of the Law Society of BC.
Since 1939, EFry has been providing support to incarcerated or at risk women, as well as their children. Services include assisting clients in understanding and navigating the court process at the Downtown Community Court and supporting girls in custody at the Burnaby Youth Custody Centre.
The Ombudsperson can conduct impartial and confidential investigations to determine if a public agency is being fair to the people it serves. Their services are provided free of charge.
How Do I Make a Complaint?
Their website explains how to make a complaint and includes an online complaint form. Case summaries, reports, and guides are also available online.
This two-page booklet briefly describes different kinds of shared decision-making, and some of the ways that you can be involved in planning when a child welfare worker has concerns about your child’s safety.
When a temporary placement for a child is not possible, the alternative could be transferring custody to the caregiver by adoption or a court order. This page briefly describes the conditions, guardian’s responsibilities, financial support, rights, access orders, and future legal matters.
By Priyan Samarakoone Program Manager, Access Pro Bono
The BC housing crisis has been fairly well documented in the news as of late and its ripple effect on subsidized housing is slowly rearing its ugly head. BC’s most vulnerable tenants are those hit the hardest by this trend.
It is commonly known that BC’s social housing providers are not able to keep up with the demand. As a result, many low-income tenants seek accommodation through private landlords in basement suites and split houses to cover the shortfall of available housing. This has provided a workable bridge to a long-term housing solution. Unfortunately, there is no long-term solution in sight. New property owners are faced with higher debt and some are unable to afford to rent out their new homes at the existing low rent. These landlords opt to move-in close family members or undertake significant renovations to force existing tenants out. Other new homeowners prefer to maintain the property for investment purposes and choose not to make them available on the rental market.
The increased market value of rental suites have also resulted in some Corporate Landlords having little tolerance for long term tenants who are effectively rent controlled under the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA). Tenants who have previously had little to no conflict with regards to their suites find themselves battling their landlords over minor lapses that weren’t strictly enforced in the past, such as being a day or two late in paying rent. These factors have combined to cause a spike in eviction notices being served on tenants in the recent months.
The RTA provides some safeguards but has an ultimate two-month notice period for landlords to end tenancies for their personal use of the property. The Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB), when dealing with such disputes, enforces strict deadlines and there are other technical steps involved in submitting evidence. It is imperative in this type of tribunal settings to get all the evidence required for the dispute before the arbitrator so that the issue may be correctly decided. If the evidence is not correctly submitted and an error is made at the tribunal, the prospect of success on a Judicial Review is significantly impaired. Unfortunately some landlords and tenants caught in this situation are unaware of their rights and uncertain of what resources are available to assist them deal with evictions. The RTB provides some information and so do organizations like the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre (TRAC), but not enough is available by way of representation at RTB hearings.
Access Pro Bono (APB) has consulted with various stakeholders, including PovNet, TRAC, the UBC Law Students’ Legal Advice Program (LSLAP), and the Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS) to assess the need for additional representation services. Although the existing non-profit organizations are providing invaluable assistance, additional legal representation services are imperative, as significant numbers of people are still unable to secure free legal advocates for hearings before the RTB.
With the assistance of TRAC and CLAS, APB is creating a program tailored to facilitate pro bono representation by lawyers and other legally trained advocates to low-income individuals (tenants or landlords) appearing before the RTB. APB will be launching our Residential Tenancy Program on August 31, 2016. This information will be made available via the Clicklaw HelpMap.
Clients interested in accessing our services will be subject to the standard intake protocol and will have to meet our income threshold. To determine eligibility please visit www.accessprobono.ca.
By Eli Zbar CLC Student Clinician, Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law J.D. Candidate
Founded in January 2016, the Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law Community Legal Clinic (CLC) is the first legal clinic of its kind in the Interior of British Columbia. The CLC is operated by a passionate team of law students, faculty and lawyers providing legal assistance and information to those otherwise unable to afford it. The office is an open, accessible and inclusive environment committed to improving access to justice.
WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU
The CLC practice areas include primarily of:
estate law; and
Due to budgetary and insurance constraints, we have a limited scope of who we can represent and in what areas. For most of my clients, I am only able to provide one-time, summary advice. This summary advice attempts to illustrate a path to resolving their issues using freely available resources such as Clicklaw and the Legal Services Society.
WHO WE ARE
The CLC is the foundation upon which TRU Law is building a rigorous, intensive, student clinician program. I have the distinct honour of filling the first ever full-time CLC summer position. My journey to this point began in September 2015, when I enrolled in “Community Lawyering.” This class, taught by one of the CLC supervising professors, is a prerequisite to becoming a CLC clinician. Once a student successfully completes Community Lawyering, they are eligible to apply to the both the credited and paid clinician positions.
CLC students are exposed to a breadth of legal issues in an unconventional workplace. Our office is located within the pre-existing Kamloops Centre for Services and Information(CSI). The CSI is a well-established hub of community support and activity. People are accustomed to relying on the CSI; it is a one-stop-shop offering everything from our legal counsel, to accounting, to education and bingo. Sharing space with the CSI provides both the exposure and environment necessary to ensure a steady flow of new clients.
HOW I CAN HELP
Clinical work offers an experience unique from many other law student opportunities. I manage files from intake to closing, with all the steps in between. Since the CLC’s mandate is to serve low-income individuals, I do not facilitate private transactions or business operations.
CLC clients seek our help in situations where immense power imbalances exist, for instance, between landlord and tenant. My clients’ legal issues are intertwined, if not symptomatic of, other challenges they face. Working with this demographic demands a keen understanding of the nexus between socioeconomic, legal, health and other issues. That is why my primary goal is to parse clients’ legal issues and explain where they stand currently in the procedure, and in terms of rights, risks and obligations.
CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you would like to know more about the CLC, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, call the CLC at 778-471-8490, or come visit us at Unit 9A-1800 Tranquille Road, Kamloops, BC, V2B 3L9.
The Legal Services Society’s Family LawLINE is a telephone service that assists people with their family law matters, including many who are located in rural and remote areas. Lawyers work from their own offices, using the phone to provide free legal coaching and “next step” legal advice to eligible people across British Columbia. Clients can schedule a number of follow-up phone appointments and share documents by fax or email.
Clients come to the Family LawLINE with a wide variety of family legal issues. There is no “typical client”. One client may have recently separated and is seeking initial legal advice and assistance to move forward. Another may be involved in a court process or is seeking assistance to change existing agreements or orders. By using LawLINE, a client has the opportunity to work with a family lawyer to identify goals and desired outcomes, and to develop a step-by-step plan of action.
WHAT SPECIFIC SERVICES DOES FAMILY LawLINE PROVIDE?
Family LawLINE helps people who are representing themselves through all stages of court and collaborative process by providing:
Interpreters, if clients need services in languages other than English
Information and advice on court processes, both Provincial and Supreme Court
Information and advice on options for resolving legal issues out of court
Referrals to other services, including online resources and other public agencies
Assistance with preparing documents for court
Coaching to help clients:
understand the law relevant to their particular case,
make more effective court appearances,
present evidence properly,
prepare for negotiation and settlement,
use Public Legal Education and Information tools, and
identify their goals and how to achieve them effectively.
HOW DOES SOMEONE GET THESE SERVICES?
To qualify for the Family LawLINE service, a person must:
Family and civil law issues: separation, divorce, income security, employment, housing and debt.
A range of information and services are available, designed to help you find an early and affordable solution.
If you don’t live in Vancouver, Victoria or Nanaimo, see “How Can I Get in Touch?” at the end of this post for phone numbers you can call for information.
Specific services that JACs offer:
meet with intake staff who assess your needs;
get informed about the Family Law Act, the Divorce Act, and various other civil-related legislation;
get informed about the different levels of court and related court procedures;
get a referral to a mediator (family justice counsellors and other mediation options), other dispute resolution professionals, legal services and community resources;
access Provincial and Supreme Court forms; and
get help with court forms and access computers and dedicated staff for assistance in the Self Help Resource Room (In Nanaimo, if you would like self-help assistance, book an appointment with an interviewer in advance. You can also get help with simple forms on the phone.)
Help from Partnering Agencies at some JAC locations:
Practical, accessible, and affordable choices to prevent, manage and resolve non-family civil disputes (any kind of dispute outside of: separation and divorce, personal injury, child protection or criminal matters).
Vancouver and Victoria have an onsite Mediation Advisor who can explore and help connect people to civil mediators; Nanaimo clients are referred to Victoria.
Family Duty Counsel (FDC) and Family Advice Lawyer (FAL) services (Provincial and Supreme Courts) are available for those who are seeking legal advice in relation to family matters and who do not qualify for legal representation through Legal Aid. FDC and FAL can provide advice about:
Free and confidential help for consumers. A Counsellor will review your monthly budget, including: income, expenses and debt payments, and can provide information and guidance to help you make informed, financial decisions.
APB offers a number of programs which are offered onsite at the JAC (by appointment only, see contact info at end of post):
Legal Advice Clinic – Volunteer lawyers provide 30 minute free legal advice appointments for civil and family law issues. Call for financial criteria.
Wills Clinic Program – In partnership with the federal Department of Justice and the Provincial Ministry of Justice, APB operates a Wills clinic for low-income seniors (ages 55+) and people with terminal illnesses.
Court Form Preparation Clinic (Paralegal Program) – Vancouver JAC only. In partnership with Amici Curiae; support for self-represented litigants who need assistance in preparing BC Supreme Court, BC Court of Appeal, and BC Human Rights Tribunal documents.
How can I get in touch?
The Self Help Resource Rooms are in-person ONLY (no telephone assistance).
Reception and Intake Services can be reached by phone or drop-in.
Located at the Vancouver Provincial Courthouse, #290-800 Hornby Street.
Hours are M-F, 8am-5pm, extended hours until 7pm on Wednesday by appointment, until 5:15pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Self-Help Resource room is open 8:30-4pm.
Call 604.660.2084 or toll-free at 1-800-663-7867 and ask to be connected to 604.660.2084. The centre serves Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. If you can’t travel to the centre, call for information.
Located at 225 – 850 Burdett Avenue.
Hours are M-F 8am-5:30pm, extended hours until 6:30 on Thursday. Self-Help Resource Room is open 9-4pm.
Call 250.356.7012 or toll-free at 1-800-663-7867 and ask to be connected to 250.356.7012. The centre serves Victoria and the surrounding south Vancouver Island and Gulf Island communities. If you can’t travel to the centre, call for information.
Located at 302 – 65 Front St.
Hours are M-F 8-5:30pm, with extended hours on Wednesday until 7pm by appointment only.
Call 250 741-5447 or 1-800-578-8511. The centre serves Nanaimo and the surrounding mid-Island communities. If you can’t travel to the centre, call for information.
Note: JACs are not able to provide support or services for criminal issues, small claims court forms and filings, and some other specific legal solutions.
By Vicky Law Lawyer & Legal Advocacy Program Coordinator
For the past 26 years, BWSS has had a Legal Advocacy Program because we know that for women leaving abusive relationships, the complication of dealing with the power and control issues of a violent spouse makes dealing with legal system more difficult. Some women give up and stay with their abuser because it is easier than leaving.
Our Legal Advocacy program has expanded this year. Here is an updated list of the legal services we offer. Click on the yellow icons for more details about each service within the Clicklaw HelpMap.
Full representation – Legal Advocacy Program
Approximately 80% of the women who access our services do not have legal representation because they are ineligible for government funded legal aid and cannot afford a private lawyer.
We will take on full representation files based on: the current case load, availability of time, the number of law students volunteering at BWSS, and the complexity of legal issues. BWSS will also consider if the following applies:
The woman has been denied by Legal Services Society for legal representation;
The woman has appealed the Legal Services Society’s decision of denial and the appeal was unsuccessful;
There are multiple barriers that prevent the woman from self-representation, including language, disability, complexity of legal issues, gender orientation, and impact of trauma;
The use of the court system by the abuser as way to intimidate or harass or to continue any form of violence;
The inability to privately retain a lawyer, such as financial difficulties; and
The legal issue is either a family law, child protection or immigration law matter.
Call 604-687-1867 or 604-687-1868 ext. 307 to apply.
Legal Advocacy Workshops
Who & What: For women who have or are experiencing violence in their relationships and require legal support with the resulting family law and other legal issues. Lawyers from the community with experience in family law will facilitate all workshops.
When: Every Thursday, April 7, 2016 – June 9, 2016, from 10am – 12pm
Where: at the BWSS office – call 604-687-1867 for location
Family Law Clinic
BWSS provides summary legal advice clinics in family law every month with volunteer lawyers from the community. These clinics are able to offer necessary summary legal advice to women on a continuous basis while they are unrepresented in the family law system.
We continue our partnership with Access Pro Bono to provide monthly in-house pro bono clinics in family law.
Call 604-687-1867 for the clinic schedule.
Court Forms Preparation Clinic
We have partnered with Amici Curiae Paralegal Program to provide assistance to unrepresented women with affidavit drafting in family law proceedings – both Provincial and Supreme Court.
When: Third Wednesday of every month, from 5:45-7:45pm
Where: Call 604-687-1868 ext. 307 for location and appointments
Today’s post introduces Direct Representation from TRAC, a Clicklaw contributor. TRAC now provides free full representation to tenants at dispute resolution hearings in limited situations depending on eligibility and location:
Who? Eligibility criteria to receive representation from TRAC:
– Types of Cases
The Lower Mainland, with some exceptions
TRAC reserves the right to use its discretion on a case-by-case basis, and has the final say regarding which tenants receive assistance. There may be times when TRAC is unable to represent a tenant who falls under the criteria above due to time constraints or other factors.
The clinic helps Temporary Foreign Workers (“TFWs”) complete their application for an uncontested divorce order with the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The clinic also helps TFWs who have children in their native country, and are in the process of applying to include their children, but not their spouse, in their application to become a Canadian permanent resident (“PR”).
How does this Clinic help TFWs immigrate to Canada?
For TFWs who do not wish to include their spouse in their PR application, Immigration Canada requires proof of separation, such as a divorce order. This clinic will help you complete your application for an uncontested divorce order.