2016: A Year in Review
Written by Kodie Veenstra, uOttawa Law Student
2016 proved to be a busy year for Reach. Along with our fundraising events, such as the Run for Reach and Reach Celebrity Auction, we were able to serve 349 clients throughout the year. This is an increase from the 306 clients served throughout 2015. Throughout 2016 we successfully referred the vast majority of our clients to lawyers, mediators, or community organizations. This was accomplished with the help of over 150 volunteer lawyers and community mediators, a law articling student, law graduates and pro bono law students from the University of Ottawa.
The diverse range of practice areas of our volunteer lawyers helped us assist clients with a wide range of legal issues. Clients most frequently sought assistance with matters relating to Wills, Estates, and Powers of Attorney as well as Disability Law. Taken together those seeking legal services in these two areas comprised approximately one-quarter of our clientele in 2016. The high number of cases in these areas coincides with the aging demographics in Canadian society. Other common areas of law in which our clients requested legal assistance included Civil Litigation, Family Law, Employment Law and Human Rights.
Reach uses this information to determine where increased support is needed in the community and to assist in our recruitment of new lawyers and mediators for our roster. In addition, we use this information to plan our educational programs that we hold throughout the year. For example, within a 12-month period, Reach facilitated two evening educational seminars on Wills, Estates, and Powers of Attorney due to the high demand for assistance in these areas.
Reach is always looking to grow our roster of lawyers and mediators to help us provide legal services to our growing clientele. We ask that our volunteers provide up to three hours of pro bono legal services per client no more than once every three /four months. If you are interested in joining our roster, please click here
to complete a Legal Referral Volunteer Registration Form.