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.
The Manitoba Law Foundation’s Board of Directors recently met to allocate and approve the Foundation’s statutory and discretionary grants for the 2018/2019 fiscal year. The Legal Profession Act provides in s.90(1) that the Foundation allocate specific portions of interest on lawyers’ trust accounts received in the previous fiscal year to The Legal Aid Society of Manitoba (50% or a minimum of $1,007,629) and The Law Society of Manitoba (16.67% or a minimum of $335,383) for its educational purposes and to offset the cost of monitoring trust accounts.
Due in large part to increases in the prime rate in 2017, Foundation revenues for the year ending March 31, 2018 were significantly higher than has been the case in recent years. Based upon that income, the Foundation was able to allocate statutory grants for 2018/2019 as follows:
The Legal Aid Services Society $1,607,151 The Law Society of Manitoba $ 535,824
In addition to the required grants paid under the provisions of the Act, the Foundation also makes discretionary grants under s.90(4) and in accordance with the objects of the Foundation. These grants are allocated from the surplus at the end of the previous fiscal year after the deduction of operating expenses, mandatory grants, and, in years when revenues are sufficient and where the Reserve requires it, a contribution to the Foundation’s Reserve for Future Grants.
For 2018/2019, the Foundation’s board approved 12 discretionary grants totaling $851,666 to:
Community Legal Education Association (General)
CLEA (Law Phone-In and Lawyer Referral Service)
Community Unemployed Help Centre
E.K. Williams Library (Faculty of Law)
Faculty of Law Sessional Program
Legal Help Centre
Legal Research Institute (Faculty of Law)
Manitoba Law Reform Commission
Native Law Centre (University of Saskatchewan)
Pro Bono Students Canada (Manitoba Chapter)
Public Interest Law Centre (Legal Aid Manitoba)
University Law Centre (Legal Aid Manitoba)
In addition, the Foundation has approved two Small Grant Applications. Dr. Michael Weinrath of University of Winnipeg’s Criminal Justice Department was awarded a grant of $4,986 for the Winnipeg Police Diversion Research Project. Level was awarded a grant of $7,100 for delivery of their Indigenous Youth Outreach Program in Manitoba.
Through these direct grants into the community, The Manitoba Law Foundation is able to fulfill its mission of advancing legal knowledge, fostering excellence within the legal profession and facilitating community understanding of the justice system.
For more information on the Foundation’s granting or any of the organizations funded by The Manitoba Law Foundation, please visit our website or contact us directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Great Library Hours
Monday to Friday 8:30 – 4:30
Manitoba Law Courts Building
Room 331 – 408 York Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 0P9
The Manitoba Law Library would like to acknowledge with gratitude that we are situated on Treaty One Territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe, Cree and Dakota peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.
Printing and Photocopying
If you need to use the library’s printing and photocopying services you will need to create an account. See us at the front desk for assistance.