Pro Bono Students Canada

University of Calgary law students using their education to help flood victims

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Article by Mitch Kowalski, The National Post, July 3 2013

The following is an account by Ali Abel of the efforts by University of Calgary law students to help out amidst the south Alberta flooding:

Three University of Calgary law students have partnered with several pro bono legal organizations in Calgary to provide information and advice to people affected by the recent southern Alberta floods.

 “With many people displaced from their homes due to the flooding, questions related to landlord-tenant, employment, mortgage, family and insurance laws have come up,” says Ben Leung, student director with Student Legal Assistance at the University of Calgary. “We want to help people understand what laws apply and what they can do from a legal standpoint.”

 Leung, Kevin Stenner, president of the Society of Law Students, and Eleanor Carlson, program coordinator with Pro Bono Students Canada, are working with members of Calgary Legal Guidance, Pro Bono Law Alberta, Legal Aid Alberta, Pro Bono Students Canada and Student Legal Assistance to provide information and brief consultation opportunities with lawyers specializing in these various areas of the law. 

 “We’re organizing four sessions over two days, in both Calgary and Okotoks,” says Carlson. “Each session will include a panel of lawyers specializing in [landlord-tenant, employment, mortgage, family and insurance] …law, and give attendees an opportunity to meet with these lawyers to ask specific questions or receive a brief consultation.” Law students at the sessions will also be providing a form of triage for affected people.

 “I’m very proud of the initiative these students have undertaken to help those affected by the floods,” says Ian Holloway, dean of law, who will be acting as moderator of the first session. “They recognized that these issues require a mid- to long-term response, and these sessions will provide access to justice for those who need it most during the rebuilding period.”

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