GTA LEGAL CLINIC TRANSFORMATION PROJECT

GTA Legal Clinics

Transformation Project

PUBLIC

INFORMATION MEETING

June 10, 2013 at 6:00pm
Council Chamber: North York Civic Centre

Everyone in the community legal clinic community (Board
members, staff members and interested community members are
invited to attend this public meeting to discuss the Transformation
Project.

If you are:
• interested in knowing how this Project got started
• wanting to know what are the objectives of the Project
• curious about who is doing it and why
• concerned about how this will affect access to justice
• wondering: isn’t this just another government cutback

Please come to the meeting!

GTA LEGAL CLINIC

TRANSFORMATION PROJECT

What is this?

The GTA Clinic Transformation Project is about planning to replace the existing GTA community legal clinics with fewer, larger, clinics. The reason for this is to deliver
more and better services to our clients. If clinics are to develop new programs for service, if clinics want to enlist more pro bono, volunteer or student help, if clinics want
to use technology more effectively, if clinic staff members want to work in teams, all for the purpose of improving our services then clinics need to be larger organizations.

These observations were put forward in the report of Public Interest called “Refining the delivery of client-centred poverty law”. The consultants were retained by the 6
East Toronto clinics to assist them in improving collaboration amongst the clinics. The principles in this report were thought to have application beyond the context of East
Toronto and those clinics proposed to the Toronto Legal Clinics Management Group that this should be a GTA-wide project. The Managers Group agreed and the GTA
Transformation Project began.

The first step taken was the establishment of the “Working Group”, eight clinic EDs who volunteered to head up the Project, essentially acting as an executive for a Steering Committee to be comprised of representatives of all participating clinics. The Working Group applied to the LAO Innovations Fund and has been given funding for this project. We expect to retain consultants to assist with the process, including analysis of demographic data and doing some community needs assessment.

This is an opportunity for a completely fresh approach. If there were no existing community legal clinics, what would be the best way to deliver clinic law services in the
GTA? What is the optimum size for a community legal clinic? Based on where clients are located, where should catchment area boundaries be? Together we will build a
new and better system for delivering a full range of poverty law services in the GTA, one which meets client and community needs and which seeks the best (the most
effective and efficient) means of delivering clinic law services. All clinics will be taking an equal risk of change. The more clinics participating the better will be our final report.

Meeting Agenda

1. Introductions and Welcome

2. The broader context of clinic transformation, Legal Aid and the clinic system
Lenny Abramowitz – Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario

3. Brief history of the GTA Clinic Transformation Project

4. The changing demographic of the GTA

5. The Public Interest Report – “Refining the delivery of client-centred poverty law”

6. The GTA wide Project

7. next steps and beyond

8. adjournment

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