Students from the École du Barreau will offer free legal advice as part of a pilot project in Montreal, announced the President of Quebec and the Minister of Justice.
Quebec citizens who are not eligible for legal aid and who cannot afford a lawyer will have access to free legal advice, initially in the form of a pilot project starting this fall, then in the form of a permanent legal clinic starting in the fall of 2023.
The Barreau du Québec unveiled Tuesday in Montreal its project for a legal clinic which will aims to offer advice initially in the areas of civil law, family, housing and social law, but which will eventually be extended to other legal specialties.
This advice will be offered by students who are in the final stage of their legal training, that is, the formation of the bar. Participation in the legal clinic will be compulsory for all students. These students will be supervised in their efforts by experienced lawyers.
The pilot project, which includes both in-person and virtual consultations, will be led by the Montreal Bar School and will include approximately 100 students, 20 supervising lawyers, and one expects to be able to serve 400 clients.
Eventually, starting in the fall of 2023, the clinic will be extended to the other bar training centers in Quebec, Sherbrooke and Gatineau, and will have 1,400 students, 200 supervisors, and we hope to be able to serve 6,000 clients per year.
The bar says it is aware that the legal clinic is at great risk of being victimized of its eventual success, the number of 6000 customers per year being linked to the ability of the students to offer the services and not to the anticipated demand.
This initiative was made possible through legislative changes that now allow students to give legal advice and opinions.
The Bâtonniere of Quebec, Me Catherine Claveau, was accompanied by the Minister of Justice, Simon Jolin-Barrette, for this announcement, Tuesday in Montreal.