If lawyers do in fact “share responsibility for access to justice” in this country (see CBA president’s letter to the editor in Maclean’s Feb. 9, 2009), then AdviceScene.com’s legal forum should be a great test over the coming months. It will be interesting to see if lawyers take ‘responsibility’ and join our forum which links them with the public. We will be waiting to see if lawyers in this country are willing to give free legal advice online. And it will be interesting to see if the regulatory bodies allow lawyers to take “responsibility for access to justice” by answering legal questions, posting legal information, and entering into legal discussions on a public forum. Will the Canadian Bar Association and the provincial law societies be with us or against us when it comes to providing free online legal advice? Will these regulatory bodies endorse the site, supporting the free and open sharing of legal information; or will they issue warnings to lawyers not to use the site due to confidentiality, conflict, or identification reasons? It’s going to be an interesting time that’s for sure. And what will these legal regulatory bodies say about AdviceScene’s CyberCourt (once it’s up and running)–a place where the public can have their disputes resolved for free in a web-based ‘court?’ We will all be waiting to see if lawyers, including the lawyers in charge, take their share of the responsibility for access to justice by helping to educate the public on a site that claims to "democratize the law one question at a time."
Nancy Kinney B.A., LL.B
Founder of AdviceScene.com
Democratizing the law one question at a time