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Thursday, 27 July 2017 13:53

Justice bus pilot project rolls out to connect law students to rural Alberta including Brooks

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On Wednesday, August 2, University of Calgary law students will climb aboard the inaugural Justice Bus to Brooks, Alberta and connect with the wealth of opportunities that legal practice in rural Alberta can offer.


The Job Shadowing Justice Bus is an initiative of the Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN) to raise awareness of the excellent opportunities that exist in rural Alberta. Students will shadow lawyers and office staff alike to gain hands-on exposure to the daily operations of a legal practice in rural Alberta.  The day will include a networking luncheon sponsored by the Canadian Bar Association – Alberta Branch where students will have a chance to connect with various lawyers from Brooks. Altogether, students will come away from this experience with new perspective and knowledge to successfully launch their legal career in rural Alberta.
 
“The Canadian Bar Association – Alberta Branch has long been an advocate for additional lawyers in rural Alberta. Many law firms in rural Alberta are dealing with succession issues and having the opportunity to meet new lawyers leads to long term succession and firm growth. The value [of the Justice Bus] to law students is that there are a number of opportunities that are well-known to them, but this is a way for law students to be exposed to the opportunities that exist for practice outside of the major centres." says Maureen Armitage, Executive Director of the Canadian Bar Association – Alberta Branch.

“The University of Calgary is a strong proponent of experiential learning activities, as seen in our Calgary Curriculum. This job-shadowing project complements our existing outreach in regional and rural communities, as well as our annual Small and Regional Firm Day and Window into Small Firm Life panel. Through this experience, students will get to see how a law office functions, beyond the front desk. The lawyers will have the opportunity to meet their soon-to-be colleagues, as we have a number of students who are from, or wish to live and work in, a community other than Calgary or Edmonton.” adds Madeleine Natale, Career Advisor at the Career and Professional Development Centre of the University of Calgary Faculty of Law.
Many are aware of the challenges that rural Alberta communities face with the succession and retention of doctors. However, these communities face similar challenges with lawyers. In fact, a whole cohort of rural Alberta lawyers will soon retire and the communities they have served throughout their careers will continue to need legal services. It is an ideal time for forward-thinking law students to get on board and establish their careers in rural Alberta communities.
“A whole cohort of lawyers in rural Alberta will be retiring over the next decade and the ARDN is thrilled to see this unique project come to fruition with sponsorship from the UofC Faculty of Law and the CBA-Alberta Branch," explains Roch Labelle, Project Manager of Alberta Rural Law Opportunities (ARLO), an ARDN initiative. "With an eye on improving access to justice in rural Alberta, our goal is to develop further streams of the Justice Bus to expose a more students to different aspects of the practice of law in rural Alberta.”
The Justice Bus pilot project is already gaining traction as ARDN finalizes plans for a second Job Shadowing Justice Bus trip to northern Alberta for University of Alberta law students. This trip will go to St. Paul on August 31.
ARDN is a not-for-profit partnership of nine Alberta colleges and universities working together to enhance the quality of life in rural Alberta through education, research, collaboration, and networking. Please visit www.ardn.ca to learn more.

Read 828 times Last modified on Thursday, 27 July 2017 13:55