How Can Community Law Canterbury Help You?

By way of short introduction, I am a recent law graduate who has been working part-time as a law clerk for Community Law Canterbury over the past year or so. My hours are set to increase to 15 per week in the very near future and then fulltime from around June. My role will be a general legal one, but will also have a disability focus with the goal of increasing the disability community’s access to justice. I myself have a physical disability and as a future lawyer, am very interested in ensuring the disability community are able to access legal help appropriately.

Given your organisation supports/works within the disability community, I thought it would be appropriate to seek your views about what you feel Community Law Canterbury could contribute, both to your organisation and in general.

To give a bit of background about what we do, Community Law Canterbury provides free legal information, advice and education to those on low incomes and others who have difficulty accessing legal help, including disabled people. It has a general drop-in service on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5.30-7pm, a specialist employment law drop-in service on Wednesday evenings which offer one-off advice, and appointments during the day. Depending on the nature of the issue and the income of the client, CLC can provide on-going legal assistance and in some cases, representation.

In addition to legal advice and information, CLC also runs legal education sessions in a range of areas from tenancy, to consumer law, to wills and produces informational resources. In the past, I have helped to produce an information toolkit about Work and Income Medical Appeal Boards and am currently working on one geared towards those who receive Individualised Funding with information about their obligations as employers.

With the above in mind, I would appreciate you answering a couple of questions, namely:

  1. What legal issues do you come across in working with your clients?
  2. How could Community Law help to resolve these? (e.g. running legal education sessions, promoting services to clients more, producing resources/simplifying information)
  3. How could Community Law better promote its services to you/your clients?
  4. Is there anything preventing you/your clients from accessing our services? If so, how could we resolve this?

Thanks very much for taking the time to read and respond. Feel free to pass this on to anyone who may be interested and to get in touch with me at any time should you have any questions, concerns or ideas.

Kind regards
Erin

COMMUNITY LAW CANTERBURY

Te Ture Whānui ō Waitaha

198 Montreal Street
P O Box 2912, Christchurch
Phone: 03 366 6870
Email: erin@canlaw.org.nz