Young lawyers — and students — wanting to explore the possibility of setting up shop in rural communities are getting a boost from the Canadian Bar Association British Columbia Branch.
The branch, supported by $795,000 funding from the Law Foundation of B.C., is launching a three-year program Rural Education and Access to Lawyers (REAL) to encourage young lawyers to move to smaller or rural towns.
REAL has six main components. They include the funding for a regional legal careers officer to promote smaller communities and match students with local bars; development of marketing materials and regional profiles to be used at recruitment events in Western Canada; funding student visits to local law firms in smaller communities; fully funded summer student positions; ongoing liaison with local bars to encourage articling and recruitment in rural areas; and an oversight committee of lawyers and representatives of the law schools at University of British Columbia, University of Victoria, and the Law Society of British Columbia.
Michael Litchfield has been hired as the regional legal careers officer and is a Yale County lawyer with experience in a large Vancouver law firm, a mid-sized regional law firm, and as a sole practitioner in Kelowna, B.C.
CBABC president Miriam Maisonville said: “Michael has already begun the process of placing law student into local summer positions and we encourage any interested law firms and students to find out more on our web site (www.realbc.org), or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.”