Edmonton drywaller swaps toolbelt for lawyer’s briefcase

Legal Aid Alberta’s first Indigenous Summer Student Program placement a unique milestone in law student’s journey  38-year-old Justin Hjlesvold knows a thing or two about hard work.   Hjlesvold, a self-proclaimed family man from Edmonton and first-year law student at the University of Alberta, is pursuing his dream to become a lawyer after running his own drywalling company for 15 years.    The first student to complete the Indigenous SummerContinue reading Edmonton drywaller swaps toolbelt for lawyer’s briefcase

Op-Ed by President and CEO John Panusa in the Globe and Mail

For Canada to truly recover economically, we need new thinking around access to justice.  John Panusa is the president and CEO of Legal Aid Alberta and the Western Canadian Representative for the Association of Legal Aid Plans of Canada. He has a law degree from the University of Alberta and a Master of Law degreeContinue reading Op-Ed by President and CEO John Panusa in the Globe and Mail

Fighting the ‘fear of the legal system’ for the Indigenous community

In the photo above: Legal Aid Alberta lawyers Grace Auger (left) and Jessica Buffalo (right). Legal Aid Alberta Indigenous lawyers say now is the time for change in the province  (Calgary, AB and Siksika Nation) One of the biggest obstacles for First Nations people is fear and lack of trust in the legal system, butContinue reading Fighting the ‘fear of the legal system’ for the Indigenous community

LAA lawyers share what Alberta courthouses look like amid COVID-19 reopening

As youth courts are opening next week and adult criminal courts are set to open in the near future, some of Legal Aid Alberta’s family practice lawyers wanted to share their experience on what courthouses were like in Edmonton and Calgary after Family Courts reopened on June 1.   Vita Houlihan, Lawyer, Family Provincial Court, Calgary Courts Centre   “In many ways I currently feel even safer workingContinue reading LAA lawyers share what Alberta courthouses look like amid COVID-19 reopening

Free Resources Available to Help Albertans During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused stress and anxiety for many Albertans. Families in Alberta are facing new challenges with co-parenting and domestic violence, which only become more urgent as our isolation continues. Legal Aid Alberta (LAA) is here to help Albertans navigate these challenging times. Our organization has developed two free resources for Alberta familiesContinue reading Free Resources Available to Help Albertans During COVID-19

LAA staff lawyer honoured with Queen’s Counsel designation

On March 4, 2020, Legal Aid Alberta (LAA) Queen’s Bench Duty Counsel lawyer Christine Le Quéré was appointed as a Queen’s Counsel (Q.C.) for the province of Alberta. An appointment as Q.C. represents a great deal. Le Quéré will be joining a highly respected group of lawyers deserving of recognition and distinction for the exceptionalContinue reading LAA staff lawyer honoured with Queen’s Counsel designation

LAA courthouse intake services to temporarily close

Based on publicly available information, Legal Aid Alberta (LAA) is implementing proactive measures to protect employees and clients and limit their risk of exposure to COVID-19.  To help contain the spread of COVID-19,  all LAA intake services at the Edmonton and Calgary courthouses will be closed effective Monday, March 16, 2020. Until further notice, allContinue reading LAA courthouse intake services to temporarily close

Legal Aid Alberta to intervene in Mental Health Act appeal

When someone is arrested by the police, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms promises the person the right to speak with a lawyer. But does the Charter also guarantee a lawyer for someone who has been detained in a hospital because they suffer from a serious mental illness?  The Alberta Court of Appeal mayContinue reading Legal Aid Alberta to intervene in Mental Health Act appeal

Mental Health Court benefits not only the accused, but society as well

The Edmonton Mental Health Court, which just celebrated its one-year anniversary, is designed to deal with matters where there is reason to believe a person’s conflict with the law is due to a problem with mental health. The court is based on a therapeutic model, involving a more collaborative and restorative approach than the onesContinue reading Mental Health Court benefits not only the accused, but society as well

Duty counsel an integral part of justice system

As a core element of our service, we provide lawyers in courtrooms across Alberta. Duty Counsel lawyers provide information, guidance, and legal advice prior to an individual’s first court appearance in adult, family and youth matters. In many cases, Duty Counsel lawyers can advocate on behalf of the individual. A total of 12,082 certificates wereContinue reading Duty counsel an integral part of justice system