Law students at Windsor, the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall are getting some press these days for helping self-represented litigants (SRLs) in family court through two innovative “coaching” projects. PBSC Windsor law students have partnered with the National Self-Represented Litigants Project to launch a pilot project. Each SRL will be matched with a student “coach” who will provide legal information, moral support, and referrals that will help to create a support system and connection to the community. You can learn more about this project here.
In Toronto, a similar project has been underway for some time, in partnership with the Barbara Schlifer Clinic. Here, PBSC U of T and Osgoode law students work alongside Family Court Support Workers to help women who have experienced domestic violence and abuse. You can learn more about this project here.
By coaching litigants who cannot afford legal counsel and are not eligible for legal aid, PBSC law students are able to use their legal skills to help empower clients and help them put their best foot forward in the litigation process. Navigating the family justice system can be overwhelming for individuals who do not have legal training, and may face additional barriers to access. PBSC’s coaching projects provide clients with connection and support at a difficult time of their lives. We are very pleased to be partnering with the National SRL Project and the Schlifer Clinic, and hope to expand these projects to more sites in the future.