Access to Justice All-Star: Victoria Foster

The by-line on Victoria Foster’s website (http://www.fosterlegalservices.ca/) reads “Helping self-represented litigants help themselves”. Victoria is a lawyer in Red Deer, Alberta, who just six months after her call to the Bar three years ago set up her own practice with the goal of addressing what she saw as the “huge need” among family litigants for legal assistance. “I wanted to build a practice that could help people who cannot afford a $2,500 retainer.” Victoria offers unbundled legal services – including document review [...]

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UK Legal Aid Cuts Inspire Open Letter – and Super Heroes Video

Massive cuts to Legal Aid – civil, family and criminal – in the United Kingdom has led to a coalition including lawyers, judges, legal academics and psychologists who are speaking up about the harm caused to access to justice (read their “Open Letter” here http://www.theguardian.com/law/2015/may/01/legal-aid-cuts-threaten-very-democracy). Legal Aid in the UK has fallen from £2bn ($3.7) a year in 2010 to £1.5bn ($2.75) today, a 25% reduction. This affects both civil and family litigants. In one area of civil law (employment [...]

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Canadian Bar Association: “Folks at the NSRLP debunk a myth surrounding self-represented litigants”

We love to report on tangible progress in the daunting challenges surrounding A2J and the SRL phenomenon. Here is one such story. Within a few months of beginning data collection via extended interviews with self-represented litigants in late 2011, a jarring misunderstanding between the profession and the public over the complex reasons for going to court without a lawyer became apparent (an early blog: Assumptions That Are Leading Us Astray.) Research studies in both Canada and the US showed a pervasive [...]

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