In February 2020, just before the start of the pandemic, we started a drop-in program to provide legal information and assistance to members of the public who were struggling with dealing with the courts. While the pandemic put a quick end to the drop-in idea, the need for legal information assistance didn’t dry up with it.
Since February 2021, the Law Library Hub has been operating on a virtual basis by appointment only. As of October 4, 2021, we are thrilled to announce we will be open again to in person service.
Under the supervision of a practising lawyer, law students will be available to provide assistance in the Great Library at the Winnipeg Courthouse on Monday afternoons between 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Appointments can be booked using the form available here.
This program is run in partnership with the Law Society of Manitoba, Manitoba Department of Justice, Pro Bono Students Canada, and others, and funded by a grant from the Manitoba Law Foundation. The goal of the project remains the same: to provide information and assistance to members of the public. Representation without legal counsel is difficult and challenging, particularly when trying to follow the rules and procedures that the legal system requires, and puts extra pressure on judges and parties who are represented. Additional assistance for self-represented litigants is important in order to increase fairness and access to justice.
As part of the pilot project, data will be collected on the types of problems people are encountering and the number of people the Hub assists.