Access to Justice was previously an in-person half-day workshop for lawyers, paralegals and support workers working in Legal Aid settings. The following series of webcasts are an adaptation of the original scope to comply with safety and best practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. To keep up to date on our legal programming offerings, sign up for email notifications below.

How do you foster an inclusive workplace and strategically maximize positive outcomes for LGBTQI2S people within legal systems?

Watch curated webcasts with experts from across Canada to share best practices and challenges to serving LGBTQI2S clients. Our guest speakers bring experiences from provincially funded legal aid clinics, tribunals and frontline community organizations. Discussions will cover a variety of topics to identify concepts, barriers and structures that perpetuate the marginalization of LGBTQI2S people. Have a question you would like addressed? Submit it below and we will try to incorporate your query in a future episode.

Be sure to check out our accompanying Inclusive Legal Aid Practice handbook to guide you in serving LGBTQI2S clients.

Episode Schedule

Feb 25: Homophobia & Transphobia in Law and Legal Culture (LSO-Accredited Episode)
Mar 4: Practical Approaches to Client-Centered Trauma-Informed Legal Services (LSO-Accredited Episode)
Mar 11: Common Legal Issues for LGBTQI2S Clients
Mar 18: The Importance of ID for Trans Clients
Mar 25: The Futures of Queer & Trans Law(s)
Apr 1: Questions juridiques et stratégies pour améliorer l’accès à la justice pour les francophones LGBTQI2S

Who is this for?

  • Legal aid clinic staff including:
    • Lawyers
    • Paralegals
    • Community legal workers
    • Law students
    • Social work students
    • Administrative staff
  • Private bar lawyers who work on legal aid certificates
  • Frontline workers partnering with legal aid clinics

Full Episodes

Episode 2: Practical Approaches to Client-Centred Trauma Informed Legal Services

In Episode 2 of ‘How Legal Professionals can Promote Access to Justice for LGBTQI2S People’, our panelists, Myrna McCallum, Aruna Boodram, and Ruby Dhand discuss Practical Approaches to Client-Centred Trauma Informed Legal Services. Link in YouTube description for more information and resources.

Episode 1: Homophobia & Transphobia in Law and Legal Culture

Join us for the premiere of our ‘Access to Justice’ series. This LSO-Accredited Episode 1 invites panelists Hema Krueger Vyas, Florence Ashley, Marc-Alain Mallet, and Amber Chisholm, to discuss Homophobia & Transphobia in Law and Legal Culture. Link in YouTube description for more information and resources.

Panelist Bios

Episode 2: Practical Approaches to Client-Centred Trauma-Informed Legal Services

Aruna Boodram

Aruna Boodram (she/they) is a licensed Paralegal and Community Legal Worker practicing at the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO). She has been with SALCO since 2013 and has worked on multiple projects for the 2SLGBTQ community and survivors of domestic violence and Forced/Non-Consensual Marriage. Aruna has been active in Indigenous sovereignty, Palestine solidarity, Prison justice, Abolition and Anti-Racist movements for the past decade. She is also a community DJ and the Queer autonomous parent of a brilliant 1 year old.

Ruby Dhand

Ruby Dhand (she/her), B.A., M.A., LL.B., LL.M., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at Thompson Rivers University (TRU). Ruby has worked as a human rights lawyer, specializing in disability law and mental health law. She led the development and establishment of the TRU Community Legal Clinic, the faculty’s first clinical law program. Her major areas of research are mental health law (civil and forensic), human rights law, health law, disability law, access to justice, the impact of race, culture, ethnicity and other intersectional factors upon the law, clinical legal education and community lawyering. At TRU’s Faculty of Law, she teaches Mental Health Law, Health Law, Human Rights Law, Clinical Legal Education and Community Lawyering

Myrna McCallum

Myrna McCallum (she/her) is an Indigenous lawyer and the host of “The Trauma-Informed Lawyer” Podcast. In 2020, the Federal Department of Justice awarded Myrna their first ever Excellence in Legal Practice and Victim Support Award

Episode 1: Homophobia & Transphobia in Law and Legal Culture

Hema Vyas

Hema Krueger Vyas is a Winnipeg-based queer Gujarati educator who is passionate about health education and creating safer spaces for healthier communities. Hema is a director of Red Tent, an organization that provides anti-oppression education, crisis response and physical safer spaces to festivals, venues, and organizations. Over the past decade, she has worked as a health educator throughout Manitoba educating youth on topics of sexual health, substance use, mental health, and anti-oppression. Hema is currently the Human Rights and Sexual Violence Advisor to the University of Winnipeg, she sits on the board of the Women’s Health Clinic as the chair of Equity & Inclusion Accountability, and is a member of Camp Aurora’s BIPOC Advisory Team.

Florence Ashley

Florence Ashley is a transfeminine jurist and bioethicist currently pursuing a doctorate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and Joint Centre for Bioethics. 
They publish widely on trans issues in law and bioethics, with publications in journals such as the University of Toronto Law Journal, Canadian Journal of Law and Society, Journal of Medical Ethics, and American Journal of Medicine. Before their doctorate, Florence served as the first openly transfeminine clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada, in the chambers of Justice Sheilah Martin.

Marc-Alain Mallet

Marc-Alain is a seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience managing programs in both the provincial and federal public sectors. “Most of my career has been in communication, education and economic development roles; but they all had one thing in common: relationships.” Marc-Alain is passionate about creating healthy, inclusive and innovative organizations for the betterment of New Brunswick.

Amber Chisholm

Amber Chisholm is a queer lawyer working in Fredericton New Brunswick for Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick (PLEIS-NB), a provincial non-profit organization that informs New Brunswickers about the law and their legal rights and obligations. She works on various PLEIS-NB projects and also operates their toll-free Family Law Information Line.

Handbook: Inclusive Legal Aid Practice

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