Access to justice symposium to tackle growing problem

Many Canadians who face legal problems cannot afford to hire a lawyer to represent them. The legal profession must deal with this complex challenge both at the national and local levels, says Doug Ferguson, Director of Western University’s Community Legal Services Clinic.

The Access to Justice Symposium, hosted by Western’s Faculty of Law, will be held on Monday, February 24 from 2 to 5 p.m. in Room 36, Faculty of Law Building and will feature keynote remarks by Fred Headon, President of the Canadian Bar Association and Tom Conway, Treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Two panels discussing access to justice issues will feature former Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley and Legal Aid Ontario CEO Bob Ward, as well as local judges and lawyers.

“This is a critical moment in the fight for equal access to justice,” says Ferguson. “The legal profession and law schools need to take action.”

Prior to the symposium Western Law will host the grand re-opening of the new Community Legal Services (CLS) clinic from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Room 126, Faculty of Law Building.

“For many low income persons, CLS provides the only means to achieve justice,” says Ferguson. “Last year our students worked on more than 1,000 files. We’re very proud of the work we do and our new, expanded clinical space will help us to do even more to assist low-income Londoners.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Susanna Eayrs, Communications Officer, Faculty of Law, 519-661-2126,

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