New Service Alert: Human Rights Clinic Provides Advocacy & Legal Representation

BC Human Rights ClinicToday’s post introduces a New Service from The BC Human Rights Clinic and Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS), a Clicklaw contributor.

 

WHY THIS NEW SERVICE?

The new BC Human Rights Clinic is the result of a 2014 Ministry of Justice review, merging two human rights organizations:

The BC Human Rights Coalition, who operated advocacy, information, and education services for the Clinic, merged with CLAS, who were operating legal services for the Clinic.

WHO CAN USE THIS NEW SERVICE?

You may qualify for this service if you have a complaint before the BC Human Rights Tribunal and seek legal representation or advocacy. You first go through an intake process and must meet certain criteria to qualify. One example of what can qualify you for assistance is the inability to obtain legal representation for free or at a reduced rate from a legal provider.

WHAT CAN THIS NEW SERVICE DO FOR YOU?

Advocacy provided includes:
picture-of-youth

  • filing amendments;
  • attending settlement meetings;
  • negotiating settlements;
  • making applications;
  • responding to applications;
  • and doing disclosure

Legal Representation provided if your case is not settled or dismissed includes:

  • clinic lawyers who may represent the complainant at a full hearing; or
  • provide other limited legal assistance; or
  • CLAS lawyers who are able to provide further limited help with submissions if required, following a hearing.

In addition to advocacy and representation, the BC Human Rights Clinic is contracted to provide Public Legal Education and Information, a Drop-in Clinic and Duty Counsel services.

Click here to learn more about human rights

HOW DO I GET STARTED?       

Find Contact Information, Hours of Service and more at the BC Human Rights Clinic Service Listing for this service on the HelpMap.

Click here to learn more about Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS)

 

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CBABC’s Dial-A-Law Scripts come to Clicklaw Wikibooks

Clicklaw, Courthouse Libraries BC (CLBC) and LawMatters are very pleased to let the public and legal information community know that the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch’s long-serving Dial-A-Law scripts are now on Clicklaw Wikibooks. They join a growing library of content from other key producers of 500px-Dial-A-Law_cover_imagepublic legal information, including People’s Law School, TRAC, BC CEAS and others including some authors CLBC helped to publish, such as Cliff Thorstenson and John-Paul Boyd. The collection of scripts will be printed in a 500+ page book to be shipped to public libraries in BC, at no cost to the libraries, in conjunction with the LawMatters program.

CLBC and CBABC announced this news by formal press release yesterday (April 14, 2015). It’s exciting since Dial-A-Law scripts are perhaps the longest-surviving example of the BC legal profession’s dedication to helping the public with free legal information. The scripts cover over 130 legal topics, and have existed in various formats for over 30 years. Dial-A-Law started in 1983 with help from the BC Law Foundation and its scripts have been edited by volunteer lawyers ever since. More information about the various ways you can access Dial-A-Law is on Clicklaw’s page for the service.

Yesterday’s announcement is significant because now the scripts are even more accessible. Clicklaw Wikibooks are all about keeping legal information in a single spot so that editors and lawyers can update it—this is one of the benefits of a Wikipedia-style platform—but letting the end user choose whether to print, read online, or otherwise export the content in a way that meets their needs. Users can download whole contents, or only portions, of Clicklaw Wikibook in PDF or EPUB. They can order a printed book for cost, or read it online.  Continue reading »

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An Online Makeover for TRAC Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre

By Andrew SakamotoTRAC Logo (blue)
Executive Director, TRAC

TRAC provides information on residential tenancy law to tenants and advocates across British Columbia. Our services include a Tenant Infoline, legal education workshops, multilingual publications and a website/social media.  We work with all levels of government, other community organizations and the general public to promote the legal protection of tenants and the availability of affordable rental housing in BC.

As a small organization with a provincial mandate, we rely on technology to help us educate communities across the province.  One way we do is by making our resources accessible through Clicklaw.

Recently, we also launched our new website!  The design is modern and clean, and our content has been organized in a way that allows users to quickly find answers to their legal questions.

Here are some of the highlights of our new site:

  • Tenant Survival Guide – One of the most popular legal publications in the province, our TSG offers a comprehensive yet plain language overview of tenants’ and landlords’ rights and responsibilities.
  • Template Letters –When issues arise during a tenancy, tenants should communicate their concerns to their landlord on paper. TRAC offers 27 template letters to use as a starting point.
  • Tenant Info Pamphlets – TRAC has created a pamphlet that covers the fundamentals of residential tenancy law, and translated it into 18 languages. For tenants whose first language is not English, this is where to look.
  • All content pages on our website can be printed as nicely formatted fact sheets. Online information is important, but so are hardcopy resources. Feel free to print and distribute our fact sheets to friends, family members, clients and landlords
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7 Most Popular Clicklaw Resources of 2014

At Clicklaw, we use Google Analytics to track which pages are getting the most views, as well as where people are following through and clicking on links to resources and services on other websites.

There are of course other factors to consider in calculating resource helpfulness, but here is an interesting snapshot of the seven most viewed and clicked resource topics and links of the past year:

1) HelpMap: The Clicklaw HelpMap helps provide access to free low-cost legal advice and legal information services in BC. helpmap.jpgYou can look for services related to a particular topic in a particular city in BC using the search tool located on this page.

Although people referred to fact sheets and written resources, it was clear that many were also seeking additional in-person help. Our most popular service pages referred to were for the Family Justice Centres and Court Registries in BC.

Continue reading »

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Clicklaw Project Evaluation … and the Winner of the Clicklaw Survey Draw

From July to September 2012, over 600 Clicklaw visitors completed an online survey. For Clicklaw visitors who reported that they found some information related to their legal issue, we asked if we could send them a follow-up survey and offered them a chance to win a $100 Chapters gift card. We received over 100 entries for the draw and last month we picked the winner using a random number generator. Congrats to Tim from West Vancouver! We hope you enjoy your prize …

A word cloud generated from comments submitted by Clicklaw visitors to the website survey

Thanks to everyone who participated. We learned a great deal about visitors to our website and their thoughts about Clicklaw. We learned, for example, that:

  • 60% of survey respondents were people with a legal question
  • 15% were people assisting a friend or family member with a legal question
  • 10% were intermediaries, such as family justice counsellors, community workers, and librarians assisting a client

We asked them if they found information on Clicklaw they would use – 65% of them reported that they did.

In the follow-up survey, we also learned that:

  • respondents rated the information they found through Clicklaw as 4.3 out of 5 in terms of being helpful and 4.4 out of 5 in terms of being understandable
  • respondents provided a 4 out of 5 rating to the question: did the information you found through Clicklaw help you take next steps relating to the legal issue

Kudos to Clicklaw contributors for making quality legal information available to British Columbians!

In other positive Clicklaw news, the number of visits to the Clicklaw site continues to grow. Visits in October 2012 were close to 70% higher than October the previous year.

The findings from the surveys, together with information we gathered from Google Analytics, a survey of Clicklaw contributors, and surveys of Clicklaw training participants, are summarized in the newly published Clicklaw Project Evaluation Report. We are excited about this evaluation as it allows us to set benchmarks and to use the information gathered for planning future enhancements.

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