Free information service to help people navigate legal system

NEWS/ TRU — TRU’s Faculty of Law is launching a free information service that will connect people with legal information and materials dealing with a range of legal matters.

TRU law school.

TRU law school.

The Legal Information Service Community Based Satellite will be based out of Centre for Seniors Information (CSI), which is located in the Brock Shopping Centre. Though located in the seniors centre, the service is not exclusively for that age group as all ages are welcome to drop by.

“There is a wealth of useful and easy-to-understand legal information available to the public,” said TRU Law Professor Margaret Hall, “but knowing what to look for and where to find it can seem overwhelming. Where to start? This is where the Legal Information Service comes in.”

The satellite service was inspired by the success of a workshop held last year by Hall and Law student Kelly Melnyk at CSI.

Hall will oversee a team of upper year students who will provide one-on-one assistance to individuals seeking information. Students cannot provide legal advice or opinions, but can connect clients with information and materials needed to become informed consumers. Information on accessing legal representation can be provided if needed.

The satellite starts March 6 and will operate every second Friday from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Workshops on specific topics will also be scheduled on a regular basis.

CSI director Brenda Prevost describes the Service as a great opportunity for students to hone their knowledge of legal issues while sharpening their listening and interviewing skills, and developing their ability to establish rapport and trust with the individuals they serve.

“Students will need to develop appropriate communication skills, which is crucial for anyone whose eventual practice will involve older clients and their concerns, wills and estates for example,” said Prevost.

On the Wednesday before each Friday session, a targeted workshop will be held at CSI starting at 6 p.m. The first workshop is planned for March 4 and will look at planning for health crises, including end of life decisions. Everyone is welcome to attend any of the workshops and there will be time for questions.

The first Legal Information Service at the Brock Centre location is planned for March 6 and will run 2:30 p.m. To 4 p.m.

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