Category Archives: Guest author

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Tracking legal need in very small areas with the Legal Health Check-Up

The legal health check-up (LHC) is a uniquely valuable tool for documenting unmet legal need at a very fine-grained local level. The LHC questionnaire is administered by community groups and service agencies to people seeking their services. Individuals who request service from the legal clinic are referred to the clinic. The LHC form becomes the basis for a dialogue between the clinic staff and the individual, laying the groundwork for a more holistic and integrated service that would otherwise not have occurred with an intake process focussing on only one presenting problem.

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Canada will never end racism unless it dispels these three national myths first

The new Anti-Racism Directorate aims to tackle systemic racism at a broad level through policy, research, public awareness and community collaboration. However, the Directorate’s work, and in effect its very existence, will always be resisted and threatened by some unless common underlying myths about racism are first addressed in the public sphere.

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Tara George: on the front line helping clients at LAO for 22 years and counting

I was 17 when I started with LAO as a co-op student— my high school counsellor told me I could get four credits for a semester.

I’d always known I wanted to do something in the legal field, but I didn’t give it much more thought than that. Then, that May, just before I graduated from high school, I was offered a position at LAO as support staff. I decided to wait a year before college and see what LAO had to offer.

Michelle Bain, lawyer, Legal Aid Ontario

Lean In @ LAO

At LAO, we understand that women pursuing demanding careers in law face specific challenges at home and in the workplace. Legal Aid Ontario has made a variety of efforts to create an environment that lessens barriers for women in law. Here is one woman’s story.

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Apologies are only the start – a reflection on the release of the report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Earlier this month, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) released its 400-page executive summary of its final report, Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future. It is an important document that provides details and insights into a shameful part of Canada’s past that has only recently begun to come into the consciousness of Canadians. Jonathan Rudin is the Program Director at Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto. In 2001, he helped establish the Gladue (Aboriginal persons) Court at the Old City Hall courts in Toronto.