PBSC is delighted to announce that our National Director, Nikki Gershbain, has been awarded a Community Leaders in Justice Fellowship from the Law Foundation of Ontario. These Fellowships connect “exceptional leaders” from public interest organizations with Ontario educational institutions, to improve access to justice and promote professional excellence.
As part of her Fellowship, Nikki has been invited to partner with Dr. Julie MacFarlane, distinguished law professor and director of the National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP). The NSRLP emerged out of a ground-breaking research study conducted by Dr. Macfarlane that documented the experiences of self-represented litigants in Canada. Nikki will research and develop teaching tools for a new model of legal service delivery called legal “coaching”. She will work with legal institutions to refine and promote the coaching model as part of the profession’s response to the increase in self-represented litigants.
Nikki has been National Director of PBSC since January 2010. Since that time, she has worked to develop new programs that have a concrete impact on helping low-income Canadians access the justice system. In recent years, PBSC has earned multiple awards for our access to justice programming, and there is a growing recognition in the profession of the importance of leveraging law students to help fill some of the gaps in legal services.
The opportunity to serve as a Fellow at Windsor Law School and work closely with the NSRLP represents a development opportunity for Nikki, and for PBSC, which will benefit from a more sophisticated understanding of the needs of self-represented litigants, and new learnings and networks we can use to deepen and grow our programming.
Nikki will be working with the NSRLP from January 2017-December 2017. PBSC will provide a further update once we have identified an Acting Director for the program. In the meantime, please join us in congratulating Nikki on this exciting opportunity!
To read more about Nikki’s project, check out this article in the Canadian Lawyer Magazine!