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Quebec lawyers offer a helping ear

|Written By David Gruber

The Young Bar Association of Montreal together with the Barreau du Québec, and legal information provider Éducaloi will hold its annual Legal Helpline June 1 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at this year’s Congrès du Barreau du Québec in Montreal.

Over a hundred volunteer lawyers are expected to be on hand answering questions on topics including family law, real estate, labour and employment, wills and estates, and any other legal issues callers may have.

The Legal Helpline is the only pro bono initiative of its kind that reaches the entire province of Quebec.

This weekend, the clinic expects to receive upwards of 500 phone calls from Quebeckers seeking legal advice. It’s an opportunity for lawyers to help improve access to justice for citizens of the province, says Andréanne Malacket, president of the YBAM.

The clinic is always looking for volunteers to take questions according to their area of expertise. Lawyers with experience practising in Quebec can sign up online, call the YBAM at (514) 954-3487 or send an e-mail.

Nicholas Plourde, the bâttonier of the Barreau du Quebec, praised the young lawyers who will be donating their time in order to improve access to justice in the province, which he says is a constant concern for the barreau.

Last year 89 lawyers participated in the Legal Helpline, taking about 700 calls over two days. The most common questions were about contracts and family law, followed by business and financial matters, and criminal law.

The YBAM includes lawyers from the Montreal chapter of the Quebec bar who have been practising for 10 years or less.

The YBAM’s Legal Helpline was first offered in 1986. Quebeckers can access the clinic this Saturday by calling (514)-954-3448 or 1-866-433-3204.

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