Author - NSRLP

Time for a Podcast on A2J & Social Justice in Canada: Can We Bring the Two Solitudes Together?

A big part of our focus at the National Self-Represented Litigants Project since 2013 has been using every possible means to create a real conversation among the stakeholders in the justice system – which means not just legal professionals, but the Canadian public as well. We see the legal community as the stewards of the legal system, and the public as its inheritors. A sensible plan for a way forward out of the current A2J crisis or the “quagmire” as [...]

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It Couldn’t Happen to Me

In our first ever episode, Julie talks with Jennifer Muller about her experience representing herself in the battle for custody of her child, and about her current work as an access to justice advocate. Plus, news about a surprising judicial retirement, friends in court in British Columbia, and a new resource for self-represented litigants. In Other News Links: American Judge Richard Posner retires, citing “difficulties” with the treatment of SRLs by the court system. BC Provincial Court produces guidelines for SRLs on [...]

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Has A2J Become a Social Movement?

If A2J is a social movement, its identity and solutions will reflect the needs of users, not just the views of professionals The milestone that Labour Day represents seems a good time to take stock – and to look forward. This is a time of familiar rituals: schools back in session, evenings getting darker, people drifting back from vacations, and that chilled-out summer feeling is starting, sadly, to ebb away. Its seems a good time to broach a big question. Has A2J become [...]

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SRL Awareness Day, October 4th 2017: More Partners, Same Goal

For the past two years, the NSRLP initiative Bring a SRL to Law School Day laid the foundation for a meaningful and positive coming together of local  SRLs who attended  law school classes that day, and law schools. This year the NSRLP is again coordinating this event, with some new partners, as well as a new name (watch for the #SRLAwarenessDay hashtag on Twitter and Facebook). We are excited to have Windsor, Ottawa, Osgoode, Queen’s, and Western’s law schools [...]

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Windsor Law To Offer For-Credit SRL Coaching Course

This Fall, Windsor Law will offer the first ever for-credit SRL Conflict Coaching class in a North American law school, pairing Windsor Law students with SRLs via a clinic setting. This is a continuation of our work to develop a “coaching” model for SRLs, here focusing on the types of partnerships that can be provided by trained and supervised law students. Acting Dean Myra Tawfik says: “This is the first and only course of its kind that law students can attend [...]

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NSRLP Launching Social Justice Podcast!

Mark your calendars for the release of a brand-new podcast: Jumping Off the Ivory Tower with Prof Julie Mac! Starting September 18th, we will release weekly episodes that tackle topics from across the social justice universe. Naturally, we’ll often feature issues related to SRLs and Access to Justice, but in the first dozen episodes we’re also taking on topics such as sexual violence, racism and Islamophobia, disability rights, and legal education, to name a few. Hosted by NSRLP Director Julie [...]

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Putting the Brakes on Summary Judgments Against SRLs

At NSRLP we were thrilled to see the Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Khan v. Krylov & Company LLP (2017 ONCA 625) last week. The Court firmly put the brakes on the use of summary judgment procedures – here Ontario’s Rule 2.1 – to eliminate actions that are inadequately pleaded by SRLs. The judgment states: “Rule 2.1 is an extremely blunt instrument. It is reserved for the clearest of cases, where the hallmarks of frivolous, vexatious or abusive litigation are plainly [...]

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The Newer Lawyer and the Client Revolution

Last week the significantly revised second edition of my 2008 book The New Lawyer came out (available on Amazon, or take advantage of a 20% discount until August 15 at the UBC website, extended until September 15 if you are an SRL: code SRL20). This seems a good moment to evaluate what may have changed in the culture of legal practice over the almost ten years between editions (the new edition is affectionately nicknamed “The Newer Lawyer” by my colleagues [...]

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A Tale of Two Systems: A Modern-Day Fable

Our medical system is far from perfect – as a patient for the last seven years I am aware of many of its shortcomings. Some of the same tensions and challenges that are faced by the legal profession exist within the medical system. However, the medical system may be light years ahead of the legal profession in appreciating the importance of inter-related and complimentary roles and skills, and meeting the basic needs of its users. The following is based on [...]

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The Change & Advocacy Blog: How We Each Can Do Our Bit

We were honored by the award of another CLAWBIE for this blog at the end of 2016 in a new category called “Change & Advocacy. The new Clawbie category recognizes “blogs that drive positive change in the legal system.” I will face some challenges to my scholarship and activism in the coming months, as I go back into treatment for cancer. So this blog post is about how we can each find the motivation and the means to do our bit [...]

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