Legal Clinic

Legal Clinic Overview

This free legal clinic put on by Amelia Rising and partnered community lawyers is offered monthly online via Zoom. The sessions are a minimum 20 minute opportunity for survivors of sexual and/or gender based violence to ask general legal questions relating to family law. This is included but not limited to peace bonds, custody, divorce, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, restraining orders, as well as general questions.

Email [email protected] with any questions about the clinic.

Clinic Terms of Understanding

Informed by the Women’s Support Network of York Region (2022).

• A disclaimer that lawyers participating in the legal clinic are not retained as legal counsel through this process. It is a consultation based on limited time and information that can be exchanged.

• The legal clinic will be in partnership with lawyers or legal professionals, pro bono, who are interested in advising, advocating, and guiding Survivors of sexual, gender-based, domestic and/or intimate partner violence through offering law/ legal options, pathways, concerns, referrals, validation and providing answers to general law/ legal/ court inquires.

• Clinics will be offered monthly on the first Monday from 4-6 PM. If the first Monday falls on a holiday, the clinic will be run on the second Monday.

• Clinic lawyers should reflect the diversity of the Survivors being served, if possible.

• Survivors can ask general legal questions related to child and family court, criminal court, civil court, and court procedures including but not limited to applying for a Peace Bond vs Restraining Order, Child Custody, Child Support, differences between proceeding Criminal vs Civil, Family Law options, legal/ law service and pathway referrals, general law/ legal advice,

• Survivors will be allocated a minimum* of 20 minutes per clinic. (*Sometimes more time can be allocated as per the lawyer’s discretion and Legal Clinic schedule OR this Survivor will be given priority for the next Legal Clinic registration).

• Participating lawyer may do a direct pro bono intake if they have the capacity. If not, they will refer the Survivor outwards to an alternative, mutually agreed upon option.

• Survivors or Supporters can register themselves for the Legal Clinic using Eventbrite (or registration can be completed verbally over the phone with the office administrator).

Registration does not confirm Legal Clinic services.

• Registration gives consent to Amelia Rising to release information to the partnered lawyer/ legal professional to review the request and process a conflict check. Amelia Rising staff will contact successfully registered and checked Survivors and Supporters to confirm a time slot for services.

• During registration, the registrant will be asked about their availability and concerns.

• Legal Clinic registration will close the Monday before to allow the participating law office adequate time to run conflict checks. The registration spreadsheet will be sent to participating lawyer or legal professional to prepare.

• Due to legal constraints a piece(s) of ID will be needed to verify the identity of the Survivor or Support person participating in the legal clinic. Health cards will not be accepted as a valid form of ID.

• It is the participating lawyer or legal professional’s responsibility to prepare for each Legal Clinic session as best as they can with the information provided.

• If circumstances allow, an attempt will be made to pair clients with lawyers who specialize in the areas of law they need.

• Participating lawyers and legal professionals are bound to a duty to report abuse of anyone under the age of 18, especially if it is still taking place.

• The Legal Clinic will be hosted via Zoom Meetings. There will be an admin person that welcomes the client into the Waiting Room, then introduces them to the Breakout Room when the lawyer or legal professional is Ready. *The use of Chat functions or text between the admin and lawyer/ legal professional is utilized.

• If the Legal Clinic registration is full (all 4 time slots have been confirmed and booked), the Legal Aid hotline number will be provided as a supplemental resource in addition to the Provincial Legal Advice resource for Sexual Assault victims.

Interested in Volunteering?

We are putting the call out for interested lawyers in the area that align with our Centre Mission & Values, who would like to assist with this opportunity and has knowledge in family, civil, or criminal law, the justice system and guiding survivors of violence.

Interested applicants can email [email protected] for more information and to schedule a time to discuss further.