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Symposium provides access to justice tools to Lawyers

Community Legal Services continued its national leadership role in access to justice when it hosted its fourth annual Access to Justice Symposium on March 24, 2017. Over 125 people attended, making it the largest attendance ever for the symposium.

The symposium’s theme was “Access to Justice: Innovative Tools for a Profitable Practice.” In his welcoming remarks, CLS Director Doug Ferguson called access to justice “the most important legal issue of our generation.” The symposium was aimed at assisting small firms, sole practitioners and clinics in lowering costs and increasing efficiency to make justice more accessible. 

Keynote speaker Chris Bentley, former Attorney General of Ontario and head of the Legal Innovation Zone at Ryerson, spoke of the need to approach access to justice issues differently. He quoted Albert Einstein, who said, “problems cannot be resolved at the same level of awareness that created them.”

One example of approaching the issue differently, according to Bentley, is Resolver, a U.K. online application that assists individuals in making and resolving complaints with utilities, airlines and other major sources of consumer issues.

To demonstrate the increasing importance of technology in improving access to justice, CLS arranged for demonstrations or discussions of apps from LexisNexis Practice Advisor Canada, Loom Analytics, Clausehound and Carswell.

Other panels discussed topics of interest to small firms:

alternative fee arrangements 

client coaching 

Pro Bono Law Ontario and Pro Bono Students Canada

CLS would like to thank its sponsors: LexisNexis, The New Family Law Centre, Loom Analytics, Irwin Books, Carswell, Divorcemate and Emond. 

This article appeared in the Western Law 2017 Alumni Magazine.
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