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New Family Law Clinic expands learning opportunities

The Faculty of Law has launched a new Family Law Clinic that will give students more hands-on learning opportunities.

The new clinic received financial support from Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), which is allocating more than $2 million over three years to six university-operated legal clinics to provide family law services for low-income Ontarians.

[Students working at Queen's Legal Aid]
Queen's Faculty of Law has increased the experiential learning opportunities it can offer students with the launch of a Family Law Clinic. It joins existing clinics including Queen's Legal Aid (pictured above), the Prison Law Clinic, Queen's Business Law Clinic, and the Elder Law Clinic.

“For more than 30 years, Queen’s law students have served the local community by providing legal advice and representation to low-income residents,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “With LAO’s wonderful support, the Faculty of Law will expand these legal services and give law students a broader range of experiential learning opportunities, which is a commitment of the university.”

The Family Law Clinic joins four existing legal aid clinics: Queen’s Legal Aid (QLA), the Prison Law Clinic, Queen’s Business Law Clinic, and the Elder Law Clinic. When the Family Law Clinic is fully operational, at least 50 per cent of law students will have the opportunity to take a clinical law course while at Queen’s, in addition to more than 90 students who volunteer with QLA every year.

“At Queen’s, we share Legal Aid Ontario’s commitment to enhancing family law services for low-income residents,” says Faculty of Law Dean Bill Flanagan. “Queen’s has long been a national leader in teaching and scholarship in family law. We are delighted that, with LAO’s generous funding, we will be able to add a Family Law Clinic to our existing four legal aid clinics.”

The Family Law Clinic will see review counsel and law students working with LAO’s duty counsel, clinics and other agencies in Kingston to support low-income residents. Karla McGrath (LLM’13) will serve as the director of the Family Law Clinic.

“Family court is a busy and dynamic work environment that can be challenging for even the most experienced lawyers,” says Ms. McGrath. “The Family Law Clinic will provide myriad learning opportunities for students both with applying the law and providing services to clients. Combine this with the opportunity to provide some very real help to low-income families at their most difficult time and the students of the Family Law Clinic can look forward to a year that is both enriching and rewarding.”

All of Queen’s legal aid clinics will move into the LaSalle Mews Building in downtown Kingston in November.

With a global reputation as one of Canada’s top law schools, Queen’s Faculty of Law offers unique experiential and international opportunities that produce graduates who are leaders in the legal profession. The faculty distinguishes itself through its innovative programs, excellence in teaching, and research that advances the theory and practice of law.