LawConnect Ontario launches

Posted: 01/22/2016

LawConnect Launch

[Left to right]: Treasurer Janet Minor with Jess Reekie, executive director of OJEN; Julie Mathews, executive director of CLEO; and Tanya Lee, executive director of the Law Foundation of Ontario

Ontarians can look forward to increased access to public legal education and information (PLEI) through the newly formed LawConnect Ontario.

LawConnect’s official launch party, hosted by the Law Society of Upper Canada, took place on January 20, 2016.

“We know that LawConnect will have a meaningful impact on access to justice in our province,” said Law Society Treasurer Janet Minor. “It is the type of innovative work that we are happy to foster and support.”

Members of the judiciary gathered with legal professionals, teachers, clinic staff and other community partners to celebrate.

What is LawConnect?

LawConnect is a joint initiative between Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) and the Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN).

“We realized that collaborating and co-ordinating more closely would help us do our work better, leading to higher-quality PLEI for our partners and for the public and communities we serve. We could expand our impact and reach by joining forces,” explained Julie Mathews, executive director at CLEO.

The two organizations will remain independent, but will use LawConnect to better focus their joint energies on supporting lawyers, legal workers, community workers and educators in providing PLEI to their communities and to the public.

“The launch of LawConnect will not only help us to continue to identify and implement administrative efficiencies, but will give us the solid ground from which we can plan and carry out more substantive joint projects,” said Jessica Reekie, executive director at OJEN.

Hosting the annual conference of the national association of PLEI providers this fall will be one of LawConnect’s first projects.

Improving access to justice

LawConnect is already investigating a number of other opportunities intended to help increase access to justice.

The Law Society is pleased to support these efforts, as the 2015-19 Strategic Plan prioritized its long-standing commitment to improving access to justice.

TAG – The Action Group on Access to Justice, which is supported by the Law Society and funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario, looks forward to continued collaboration with OJEN and CLEO, both separately and through LawConnect.