From Family Law Information Centre
Over the past few years, the Ministry of Justice has partnered with Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC), the Public Legal Education Association (PLEA), Saskatoon Public Library, and the Law Society of Saskatchewan Legal Resources department to jointly offer legal information sessions about family law to the public.
Lawyers in private practice have graciously offered their time to volunteer at these information sessions, meeting with members of the public to provide general information about family law. However, we could use more volunteers! We would encourage anyone interested in volunteering at any of our four locations, for even one session, to contact Rolande Wright at Rolande.firstname.lastname@example.org or 306-787-6513.
Currently, these sessions are offered in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, and Prince Albert:
For those lawyers volunteering to assist with the sessions in Saskatoon, continuing professional development (CPD) credits are available for the component of the sessions that involve mentoring law students from the University of Saskatchewan College of Law who volunteer at the sessions.
These information sessions provide hands on assistance to self-represented family law litigants, providing explanations about family law topics such as child support, parenting arrangements/orders, family property division, spousal support, and divorce/separation. Additionally, information about procedures and rules for navigating the family justice system in relation to matters such as uncontested divorces and child support variation as well as offering review of court documents if requested.
Although these sessions are staffed by lawyers and law students (who are supervised by lawyers), the sessions are not intended as a vehicle for providing individuals with legal advice. Participants asking for advice on their specific situations are told to consult a lawyer. Attendees who do not qualify for Legal Aid or Pro Bono services are encouraged to use the Law Society’s Find Legal Assistance search tool. These sessions are intended to promote access to justice, and most, if not all, participants do not have money to hire a lawyer to represent them under a traditional retainer agreement.
Participants may also be referred to other useful services, such as mediation, arbitration, collaborative law, the Child Support Recalculation Service or the Parenting after Separation program.
Participants are very grateful for the assistance they receive. A significant proportion of attendees are newcomers or survivors of interpersonal violence, and for these people, navigating the family justice system is even more stressful.
Please also feel free to refer your existing and former clients to these help sessions for free information and assistance to complement any other service that they might already be receiving.