Flip Your Wig

February 2015

Issue link: http://digital.canadianlawyermag.com/i/466000

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Page 1 of 23

Welcome to the first edition of Flip Your Wig magazine! This publication celebrates Flip Your Wig for Justice, a campaign designed to raise awareness and promote dialogue around access to justice, while supporting organizations that provide legal assistance to low-income Canadians. Flip Your Wig for Justice plays on the image of the traditional barristers wig – that powdered, itchy relic of another era – and the idea that lawyers are 'flipping our wigs' in frustration over the state of access to justice in Canada. This playful campaign draws attention to the issues, without downplaying the many hurdles that exist to creating a just legal system. Flip Your Wig is the brainchild of six justice sector organizations: OJEN, the Ontario Justice Education Network; AIDWYC, the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted; CLEO, Community Legal Education Ontario; CCLA, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association; METRAC: Action on Violence and PBSC, Pro Bono Students Canada. Although each organization has a different man- date and focus, they unite in their work to provide legal support, compassion and dignity to vulnera- ble members of the Canadian community. Of course, the six Flip Your Wig agencies (profiled in the pages ahead) are just a handful of the many organizations out there that deserve our support. There are hundreds of organizations and clinics across Canada working to fill the gaps in legal services faced by poor, low-income and, increasingly, middle-income Canadians. Chief Justice McLachlin has said that Canada is "increasingly failing in our responsibility to provide a justice system that [is] accessible, responsive and citizen-focused." In recent years, task forces have been struck, reports have been written, and the profession – which has tended to function in silos – has begun to pull together to take action. Flip Your Wig: LAWYERS LET THEIR HAIR DOWN FOR A GOOD CAUSE By Nikki Gershbain, National Director, Pro Bono Students Canada & Lorne Sossin, Dean, Osgoode Hall Law School Nikki Gershbain with Janet E. Minor, Treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada 2

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