THE ADVOCATE 889
VOL. 78 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2020
By Ted Murray*
LITTLE RECTANGLES INSTEAD OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL PEOPLE:
RUNNING A LEGAL CLINIC WITHOUT THE STUDENTS THERE
As the executive director of the Thompson Rivers University Community
Legal Clinic (“TRU CLC”), I set out below an update on the goings on at TRU
CLC in 2020. TRU CLC is operated by the TRU Legal Clinic Society and has
dual purposes of: (1) addressing access to justice issues by providing free
legal advice and representation to low-income individuals in Kamloops and
the surrounding area; and (2) providing students from the TRU Faculty of
Law with an opportunity to gain practical experience providing legal advice.
Since our founding in February 2016, we have grown from a little operation
with six students participating in the Clinical Practice Course for three credits
each to having twelve students participating for six or nine credits each
in the current semester. We now have almost seven times the student
resources available to work on client files.
We are able to represent eligible clients in a range of legal areas, including
residential tenancy, small claims, human rights claims and matters
before the Employment Standards Branch. We are also able to draft documents
for eligible clients, including simple wills for small estates, powers of
attorney, representation agreements, financial statements for contested
family matters and the documents for uncontested desk order divorces.
Finally, whenever possible, we provide clients whom we are not able to represent
for whatever reason with summary advice regarding their legal issue.
Our surprisingly swanky office (thanks for the fancy woodwork in your old
office, Fulton & Company LLP!) is located in downtown Kamloops and, in
* Ted Murray is the executive director of the Thompson Rivers University Community Legal Clinic and, as noted in this piece,
plays many other roles as well.