Family Law Project

The Program

The Family Law Project (“FLP”) is a national, award winning, year-round program run by PBSC. It began at the University of Toronto in 1997 and has since spread across the country. Western University's Family Law Project began in 2009. From May 2016 to April 2017, FLP volunteers across Canada provided assistance to over 1,600 unrepresented litigants and filled out over 3,500 court forms. Recently, the importance of the FLP was recognized in Justice Bonkalo's Family Legal Services Review.

At Western, FLP volunteers assist low-income, unrepresented family law litigants in the completion of court documents, under the supervision of Legal Aid Ontario lawyers. The office does not deal with divorces, separations, or property matters. Most issues involve custody, access, and child support.

As volunteers, students gain valuable experience with legal drafting and client interviewing. Students help relieve the burden on the court and make clients more comfortable navigating the legal system. Most importantly, students are given the opportunity to provide the community with a meaningful service. It should be noted that students do not provide legal advice

How the program works:

Students are placed at the Superior Court of Justice in London, Ontario to complete a 4-hour shift (morning or afternoon) once a week. Students work hand-in-hand with LAO lawyers, while interacting directly with clients to help draft court pleadings and other documents in preparation for trial.

As volunteers you will:

  • Learn and practice skills applicable both in and outside of family law e.g. interviewing clients and legal drafting
  • Gain a clear understanding of how the court system works
  • Deal with concrete issues faced in the Family Courts

The Office

Family Duty Counsel Office
2nd Floor, London Courthouse
80 Dundas Street
London, ON, N6A 6A3

Testimonials

“My experience as a 1L FLP volunteer has been invaluable. I have had the opportunity to meet many lawyers at the court house, and have formed strong associations with duty counsel who was very informative and helpful throughout the entire process. Throughout my involvement I have gained valuable hands-on experience at the London Family Court, and most importantly, I have had the opportunity to help individuals in my community.” – Anamaria Maghetiu, FLP volunteer 2010-2011

Information for Students

Applications for 2017-2018 FLP volunteer positions will be available at the beginning of September. Applications must be submitted in hard copy at Community Legal Services by Thursday September 14 at 4:00PM.

Coordinator & Contact Information

The 2017-2018 FLP Coordinator is Bridget Bilski

Office: Room 117, Faculty of Law
Western University
London, Ontario, N6A 3K7

Telephone: 519-661-2111 Ext. 81195
Fax: 519-661-3790 (Attn: Bridget Bilski)
E-mail: pbfamily@uwo.ca

Note: The Coordinator's contact information is not to be used to seek legal advice. Should you require help on a legal matter contact, please contact the Family Duty Counsel Office at 519-660-2308 to book an appointment.

Websites

http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/family/

http://www.mediationcentre.com/Pages/index_family.aspx