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Update on Family Law Workshops
August 28, 2013

Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick’s (PLEIS-NB) is pleased to update you on our accomplishments the past year in relation to our Family Law Workshops Project – which is the major component of an initiative called Navigating the Family Justice System. The development of this project which is aimed at increasing access to the family justice system for individuals who cannot afford a lawyer, has been funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario /Access to Justice Fund. PLEIS-NB has been piloting and evaluating monthly bilingual workshops in every judicial district, including rural communities, to educate the growing number of individuals handling their own family law matters. The workshops explain rules of court and proper legal procedures associated with the most common family law matters such as uncontested divorces, support variation and preparing for family court hearings.

In getting started, PLEIS-NB consulted and collaborated with the legal community, courts, the law schools and community-based stakeholders to recruit volunteer presenters, find host agencies, and select venues to deliver these workshops. Our accomplishments implementing the project to date include:

  • 35 lawyer presenters
  • 63 workshops scheduled
  • 36 workshops delivered
  • 474 registrants
  • 278 attendees with family law issues to resolve

Qualitative feedback to date shows that the project has been an enormous success. Comments from participants include: “I like it that it was very clear and informative; it went through all the process.” And “I like the nature of comprehensiveness. This is a great, informative session.”, “I left with most of my unanswered questions answered and learned a lot of new useful information and new resources to be of help.” One person commented, “Helps reduce the fear of court proceedings”.

We would like to thank all the court staff, family law lawyers and community agencies and venues who have contributed to the success of this initiative.  We are currently planning our “fall schedule” and will once again be asking for your collaboration.  Our project funding for this initiative ends on November 30, 2013.  We hope to continue offering these workshops throughout the province on a permanent basis and would welcome your suggestions on how we might continue to do so.   

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Deborah Doherty, Executive Director, PLEIS-NB, by e-mail: Deborah.Doherty@gnb.ca or Maria DiCarlo (maria.dicarlo@gnb.ca ), Family Law Project Coordinator.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.


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  P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton
New Brunswick, Canada E3B 5H1
  Telephone: (506) 453-5369
Family Law Line: 1-888-236-2444