Introducing the National Database of Professionals Assisting SRLs!NSRLP
Today the National Self-Represented Litigants Project is launching a project five months in the making – the National Database of Professionals Assisting SRLs.
Every day self-represented litigants contact us looking for affordable legal assistance. As you are aware, studies show that full representation by a lawyer is unaffordable for not just the very poor, but for ordinary middle-income Canadians.
This growing National Database contains the names of dozens of lawyers (as well as paralegals, and other professionals offering therapeutic support and assistance) who are willing to offer SRLs affordable assistance, primarily in the form of unbundled legal or limited scope services.
For many years, it has been very difficult to get lawyers to step forward to offer unbundled legal services publicly – but they are desperately needed. There is a huge untapped market, and a real need for such help.
Our intention in launching the National Database is to:
(1) enable the public to find lawyers whom they can afford to work with, and
(2) promote the idea of unbundling and encourage more lawyers to step forward and openly offer such services – both as a sign of their commitment to access to justice, and as a real marketing opportunity.
We are also proudly releasing today a video promoting the National Database in which Chief Justice Robert Bauman of British Columbia, Chief Justice Michael MacDonald of Nova Scotia, and Associate Chief Justice Frank Marrocco of the Superior Court of Ontario strongly encourage lawyers to offer unbundling, and stop being deterred by some of the myths about limited scope services.
As the Justices point out, provincial law societies have studied and approved unbundling (many have discrete rules in their Codes of Conduct) and legal insurers (for example, LawPro) offer full indemnity. Complaints and malpractice suits are extremely uncommon for this type of service.
This short video is informative and entertaining and may be the first time that our esteemed judicial leaders have spoken on camera in this way. We are grateful to them for their co-operation and their support for affordable legal services for Canadians.
And if you would like to become a part of the National Database, please click here.
We are also very happy to answer your questions via firstname.lastname@example.org.