As part of Alberta’s first Access to Justice Week (September 29 – October 5, 2019) Legal Aid Alberta (LAA) partnered with the University of Alberta Faculty of Law and the Edmonton Community Legal Centre to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the Low Income Individuals and the Law Course.
This course links the study of law and policy with hands-on learning, real-life experience and insight that cannot be learned from a textbook. As part of the course work, law students can work in a clinical setting with LAA and gain first-hand insight into the realities of the lives that many vulnerable Albertans encounter.
“The Low Income and the Law course has afforded a unique opportunity for law students to gain insight into the many challenges that are faced on a daily basis by low income individuals in Alberta who are in need of legal services,” says Andrea Doyle, Senior Advisory Counsel for Family & Immigration Law at LAA. “Those challenges extend to homelessness, addictions, mental health concerns, domestic violence, language barriers and many other issues.”
Course alumni, participants, supervisors and special guests came together on October 3, 2019 to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of this course and the team that made it happen. Throughout the last 10 years, not only have the students benefited from this course but so have the many clients whose lives these students have touched and made a real difference.
This event was part of a series of events held during the province’s first Access to Justice Week. Justice sector organizations from across Alberta held events to showcase what justice is and why access to it is so important.
LAA supports access to justice by providing vital legal services and expertise to Albertans, often the most vulnerable of us, and work tirelessly to protect their rights and ensure a fair process.
Educating aspiring lawyers about access to justice issues is central to our goal of being a Centre of Excellence in all that we do. We have had been fortunate to have many of the students continue their commitment to access to justice by joining LAA as staff lawyers and as members of our roster, all contributing to our goal of providing high quality legal services to low income Albertans.
In the photo, from left to right: Andrea Doyle, Senior Advisory Counsel Family and Immigration at LAA; Katherine Weaver, Law Professor at the University of Alberta; Catherine Bell, Law Professor at the University of Alberta; Debbie Klein, Executive Director of Edmonton Community Legal Centre; Amanda Baretta*, Lawyer; and Danielle Collins*, Lawyer.
Lawyers Danielle Collins and Amanda Beretta of Latitude Law were both students in the first Low Income Individuals and the Law class.