Dear Queen's Supporter,
Queen’s law graduates have a reputation for making a difference – whether in the boardroom or the courtroom, no matter what kind of law they practice. But these days, our students are working together to make a difference in people’s lives even before they graduate.
What do you do if you are a not-for-profit with a need to update your by-laws? Or a low-income senior trapped in a bad housing situation? If you are in Kingston, or anywhere in eastern Ontario, you can turn to two Queen’s Law clinics staffed by our students, all part of our long, proud pro bono tradition.
Start-ups, charities and not-for-profits face the same legal challenges as other businesses, but they cannot always afford legal services. The Queen’s Business Law Clinic offers legal advice on incorporation, partnerships, charitable status and business related legal problems. Beginning in 2009 with just four students as a small pilot program under Professor Peter Kissick, the Business Law Clinic has now grown to sixteen students serving over 100 clients.
Founded just two years ago, the Elder Law Clinic is the only clinic in Canada dealing with the particular legal needs of those over sixty, a fast-growing area of the law. Working under the legal supervision of Georgina Stewart, the Elder Law Clinic’s ten students handle a range of legal issues particular to seniors, especially those with lower incomes, such as family violence and neglect, financial exploitation, and especially, legal questions relating to a person’s mental and physical capability to make sound judgments.
Set up as full-year credit courses, these two clinics give our students experience that could not be replicated in a classroom. Students from both clinics also give presentations on their respective legal interests to outside groups and parties.
Paul Adam, the third year student who administers the Elder Law clinic, says “I think it has helped me develop a real interest - and love - for this area of the law.” For Andreea Muth, student director of the Business Law Clinic, the clinic has been a chance to learn about managing client expectations: “It’s one thing to learn the law, but it is another thing to explain it to someone who knows nothing about it. There’s no other way to get those skills.”
Our students have the passion and commitment to improve the lives of others in so many ways. Our challenge is to sustain and build the programs that inspire our students and prepare them to make a difference in the profession. We can’t do it without your help. Please join me today in supporting the Law School Fund, where every gift creates opportunity.
Dean of Law