The Rural Education and Access to Lawyers (REAL) initiative was designed to attract new lawyers to small, rural BC communities, many of which have a shortage of lawyers or are projected to in the coming years.

The focus of the program is to place law students in rural law firms for summer work experience and to facilitate the placement of articled students in communities with less than 100,000 people and a greater than 500 person-to-lawyer ratio. 

The REAL initiative delivers the following core programs:

  • funding for second-year law student summer placements;
  • funding the Regional Legal Career Officer position to support students interested in practising in small communities; and
  • support for local law firms seeking to attract new lawyers to rural communities.

Since the summer of 2009, the initiative has funded more than 100 students, approximately half of whom were subsequently offered articles by their REAL firms.

The REAL initiative is made possible by the contributions of the Law Society of BC, the Law Foundation of BC, and the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch.

For further details and an application form, or to learn how you can help support the initiative, contact the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch.