Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan to host Call in Day
Saskatchewan is celebrating National Pro Bono Week this week.
Various activities, such as training sessions for lawyers, will take place this week. The week will end with a public province-wide Call in Day on Saturday. People can call Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan (PBLS)’s toll free number, 1-855-833-7257, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday if they have a legal question. People will also be provided with a summary of legal information.
“Then they’ll be provided with some legal information, they may be pointed in a specific direction they should go in, they may be referred to an appropriate resource,” said Nicole Sarauer, programs manager and staff lawyer with PBLS. “It’s just a way for us to get the public involved in pro bono week and hopefully help increase access to justice in the province … We’re really excited about it.”
She said this is the first year the PSLS has done anything relating to National Pro Bono Week. She added it would hopefully become an annual event.
“The purpose of the week is essentially to shine a light on the need for pro bono work in the province and to celebrate our volunteers who tirelessly work year-in year-out to provide this service to people in Saskatchewan,” said Sarauer.
She said people can call the toll free number at any time for more information or to book an appointment. Volunteer lawyers, mainly out of Regina, will operate the phones on Call in Day.
She said the number of people utilizing PBLS’ services has been increasing. PBLS offers free legal aid clinics and assists people through panel programs and she said the numbers have been “growing every year.” Last year, there were more than 1,200 appointments at the free legal clinics in Saskatchewan.
“There’s quite a large gap between legal aid and private practice capabilities in Saskatchewan. Legal aid can only assist a very certain area of law and their income screening is quite low and then private practice serves their body of people,” said Sarauer.
“We try to provide services for those people in the middle, those people who may be haven’t dealt with the legal system before, who don’t quite qualify for legal aid but still are essentially far beyond the financial abilities of private practice lawyers.
“So we see a need in the province.”
Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.