Rise’s Virtual Legal Clinic


December 2022

Rise Women’s Legal Centre is a community legal clinic and teaching facility committed to finding innovative ways to provide family law services to women and gender diverse people all over BC. The Law Foundation is proud to support some of Rise’s creative access to justice programs, including the Virtual Legal Clinic (“VLC”), which leverages technology to increase access to legal services for women living in underserved communities.

Since 2017, the VLC has been partnering with community organizations across the province to deliver client-centred and trauma-informed legal services to clients in their own community. The program is staffed by a legal navigator, a staff lawyer, and pro bono counsel. Clients receive up to three hours of legal service, with an option to access additional services if needed. Community partners provide safe access to computers and other technology, and support clients in implementing the clinic’s advice. The VLC also offers regular workshops to community partners and trains lawyers and law students to deliver virtual legal services.

The VLC’s unique model is working. A recent evaluation found that most participants reported great satisfaction with the VLC, citing useful advice, increased understanding of legal options, and overall support in navigating the family justice system.