Access to Justice All-Star: Dom BautistaNSRLP
Our first Access to Justice All-Star of 2015 is Dom Bautista, who for the past 23 years has been the Executive Director at the Law Courts Center in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The Law Courts Center provides continuing professional development seminars and lectures for the legal profession in British Columbia. Dom is also the Executive Director of the Amici Curiae Pro Bono Paralegal Program. Amici Curiae, which means friends of the court, is a group of paralegals who offer pro bono services one evening a week assisting low and middle income British Columbians in drafting pleadings and chamber applications in civil matters.
In recent years Dom has shown his deep commitment to educating the legal profession about the SRL phenomenon. He has invited SRLs to speak at the Annual Paralegal Association Conferences, included material related to SRLs in Law Court courses, and works directly with SRLs. Most recently Dom assembled the Paralegal Litigation Users Group 5 (PLUG 5), a special Amici Curiae group convened to improve access to justice by providing better access to information for SRLs. What was originally intended as a few sheets of tips for SRLs burgeoned into a 200 page comprehensive Guide to Civil Litigation for Self-Represented Litigants in BC .
NSRLP Advisory member Jennifer Muller – who was invited to participate on the PLUG 5 team – has nominated Dom as an Access to Justice All-Star. Jennifer writes:
“Dom has continually surprised me since the summer of 2013 when he contacted me after hearing about my experiences as an SRL. At first I couldn’t help but think “why does this man care about what I have to say?” It wasn’t long before I understood. Dom invited myself and another SRL to speak at the Annual Paralegal Conference in Vancouver along with other system stakeholders, including lawyers and judges. His inclusivity at this event was evident as we found our names placed amongst the other speakers at the front of the room and we were treated as a legitimate part of the legal community.
Dom’s dedication and commitment to the PLUG 5 group in producing the amazing new Guide to Civil Litigation in BC – which I like to call ‘The Gift” for SRLs – is truly a lifeline for the growing population of SRLs (our fellow citizens) who find themselves alone in a courtroom.”
When we contacted Dom to tell him about his personal nomination, he made a point of asking the NSRLP to give a special mention to all the volunteers at Amici Curiae who for the last three and half years have helped SRLs in their weekly clinic.
Welcome to the A2J All-Star Team Dom!