Law Firms and Practitioners

The Rural Education and Access to Lawyers Initiative (REAL) is committed to assisting law firms and practitioners in small communities and rural areas of British Columbia to recruit, hire and retain law students and new lawyers. REAL has established programs specifically designed to provide this assistance.

Due to the existing COVID-19 protocols, REAL was only able to place students that were already living in the communities where they will work.  Consequently, two REAL placements were made for the summer of 2020.  The other firms that received funding approval in 2020, will be given first opportunity for the 2021 summer program.

Firms interested in receiving information about the 2021 funding year: Please fill out this form.

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Benefits

The benefits of the REAL initiative to law firms and practitioners in regional areas include:

  • Funding to assist law firms and practitioners to hire summer students;
  • Financial and promotional support to assist with the marketing of regions to law students and new lawyers;
  • Professional support from the REAL Program Manager to assist with the recruitment, hiring and retention of students and potential new lawyers in small communities and rural areas.

Process

The REAL Advisory Committee reviews all applications at the end of February when they determine which firms will receive funding through the program. Incoming applications will be weighted on a number of factors including:

  1. Location in a high needs community or serving a high needs community
  2. Urgency of need
  3. Matching funding has been secured
  4. Ability and willingness to offer an articling position in the following year.

Matching Funding

We have initiated a Matching Funding Model where firms can seek local funding partners as an alternate route to matching the funds themselves. Examples of funding partners could include:

  • Credit unions
  • Trusts
  • Regional Organizations
  • Local businesses

It will be the responsibility of each firm to approach potential funders and relay the details of matching partners to the REAL Program Manager. Firms that secure funding whether through local funding partners or self-matching will have their applications prioritized over applications requesting full funding.

REAL will work with the firm and funding partners to identify the most suitable way of handling the disbursement of the matching funds. Fundamentally, the firm will either invoice the funding partner directly or  REAL will hold the matching money and disburse the monthly allotment to the firm in the same way it has in past years.

If a firm is unable to secure additional funding and has a strong need, it is possible for the Committeeto waive this requirement.

If you would like further information regarding the initiative please contact the REAL Program Manager at realbc@cbabc.org.

For firms struggling to secure additional funding, the Committeewill review each case and may waive this requirement.

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