Funny how my blog ranks highest for the words “lawyers aid canada” in a routine google search. Also, I think I’ve mentioned “Lawyers Aid Canada” at least a few times on radio and television when talking about affordable legal solutions for the middle class. It seems like I’m doing their marketing and PR work for them, but they’re also doing some of their own. Carol Goar of the Toronto Star, for example, wrote an article about Lawyers Aid Canada on February 1, 2010. In any event, I thought it would be worth reiterating what a great job their doing… and here I go…
Lawyers Aid Canada is a federal not-for-profit corporation that strives to promote access to justice for the middle class. It does so by offering individuals with certain household incomes (less than $59,000) access to lawyers who have agreed to charge reduced rates. Lawyers Aid Canada was founded by Haideh Mottahedin, who worked as a mediator. She had seen first hand how the middle class had real access to justice problems. They couldn’t afford a lawyer and didn’t qualify for legal aid. So, with the help of her son (an expert in online marketing), she launched Justice Net.
Justice Net is a free service that allows people with a household income of less than $59,000 to access lawyers who charge 40-60% less of what they would normally charge, depending on their income and the case. So far, Justice Net has lawyers registered who focus on many different areas of law – such as criminal, family, civil litigation, immigration, refugee, etc. As of February, 54 lawyers had signed up.
Worth mentioning is that Lawyers Aid Canada has a very impressive roster of legal professionals. Haideh Mottahedin was able to recruit Virginia MacLean (municipal law lawyer with a strong passion for social justice and president of the Women’s Law Association of Ontario) to be the president of the 7 member board of directors of Lawyers Aid Canada. The VPs of Lawyers Aid Canada are Patricia DeGuire (lawyer and human rights advocate serving on the Immigration and Refugee Board) and Alex Frame (retired VP of English radio at the CBC).
Kudos go out to Haideh Mottahedin and her team for working hard to make legal services accessible to the middle class.