Access Pro Bono responds to COVID-19 pandemic; sets up emergency telephone clinics

Needless to say, these are challenging times for everyone engaged in delivering critical legal services to already vulnerable British Columbians. Like all organizations in the access to justice sector, APB is struggling to serve as many clients as possible while establishing safe working conditions for staff and volunteers. We are committed to the practices of social distancing and isolation that will ultimately save lives. We are working toward all staff and volunteers working from home by the end of this week (ending March 20, 2020). We currently have a skeleton crew helping with this vital transition at our office.

To serve as many British Columbians as possible, we are moving nearly all of our services from in-person delivery to telephone and online delivery. We are currently ramping up our telephone advice services to meet emerging legal needs from the COVID-19 pandemic. To these ends, we are contacting our currently scheduled clinic lawyers to see if they are willing to switch to serving already booked clients by telephone from their home offices. We are also putting out a call for new and re-engaged volunteer lawyers to serve in telephone clinics specifically designed to serve COVID-19-related legal needs.

If you are a lawyer willing to volunteer at a ‘COVID-19 Telephone Response Clinic’, please register here: http://www.accessprobono.ca/lawyer-registration

We are shutting down our court-based Civil Chambers Program on a temporary basis while we shift all of our attention and resources to telephone and online service delivery. Our other representation service programs continue as enabled by the willingness and ability of volunteer lawyers, and the availability of court and tribunal resources.

We wish everyone a safe and calm period while we collectively engage in social distancing for the common good. And we encourage everyone to help their neighbours however they can.

–Access Pro Bono