|For immediate release||September 16, 2011|
Law Society joins forces with Canadian Bar Association to enhance access to legal services in small communities
Vancouver – The Law Society will contribute funding to a Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch initiative designed to attract new lawyers to small, rural BC communities, many of which either already have a shortage of lawyers or are projected to in the coming years.
The Rural Education and Access to Lawyers (REAL) initiative was created three years ago with funding from the Law Foundation of BC. 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 of less than 100,000 people and a greater than 500 person to lawyer ratio.
In 2011, the program placed 20 summer students in small communities, where they gained valuable experience under the mentorship of local lawyers.
“The program hopes to address a critical need to replace retiring lawyers in small communities and provide ongoing access to legal services,” explained Law Society president Gavin Hume. “The Law Society is impressed with the early results of the REAL initiative and very pleased to provide the necessary financing to continue this project.”
The Law Society will provide $75,000 for each of the next two years to the REAL initiative.
The Law Society of British Columbia regulates the more than 10,000 lawyers in the province, setting and enforcing standards of professional conduct that ensure the public is well-served by a competent, honourable legal profession.
For further information or to arrange an interview contact: