Offer training on access to justice, emerging approaches, changing social situations and the skills to meet people’s needs, both at the start of and throughout legal careers
Introduce legal capability into elementary and secondary schools to prepare people for legal issues in their lives
Offer training about access to justice issues in post-secondary programs to integrate legal, health, social and education services
School-age students and university students are the primary audiences for building legal capability. Having not yet settled on career choices, nor developed their own conflict skills, efforts to build legal capability in these audiences offers the potential to transform how people respond to legal conflict, whether in their own lives or in these professional roles. Law and paralegal students, developing practice skills and aptitudes at the beginning of their career, can be exposed to access to justice issues before they make career decisions. The efforts to build capability in these audiences is the priority under this goal, complementing the training of existing legal professionals.
Ongoing professional development is a critical responsibility of all legal professionals. Over the course of the year, lawyers, paralegals and judges completed training on access to justice issues and developed their practice skills. These opportunities were a combination of internal training opportunities offered by legal aid societies, judges associations and employers, cross-sectoral conferences and courses.
In 2019, the sector focused on growing the community of justice service providers through targeted training of intermediaries – those professionals who, in the course of serving the public, may encounter legal questions, such as librarians, poverty and housing advocates, newcomer organizations and social workers.
© 2019 Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters