we’re clerc, and we provide legal advice, information, education, and representation to children and youth.
A Little Bit
We are the only registered charity in Western Canada providing specialized legal support to vulnerable children and youth. We are committed to improving the lives of vulnerable young people through our legal work.
We do not provide legal support on criminal matters or to children involved in child protection proceedings. Those young people are referred to government agencies: the Youth Criminal Defence Office of Legal Aid Alberta and the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, respectively.
To provide legal advice and representation directly to vulnerable children and youth while building our community’s capacity to protect their legal rights by providing information, education and training.
All children and youth in Calgary and Alberta understand their legal rights, have access to justice and are significant participants in decisions affecting their lives.
WHAT WE DO FOR
KIDS AND YOUTH
We answer questions about civil law matters and engage in public education.
We help young people deal with matters related to:
- Family issues including:
- Visitation/child support
- Independent living
- Forced marriage
- Immigration and cross-cultural issues
- Landlord/tenant issues
Our lawyers represent youth 19 years of age and under who do not otherwise have access to legal services or assistance.
Young Voices, Healthy Lives
Our lawyers provide representation and advice to young people caught up in their parents’ high-conflict divorce/separation.
“Ask A Lawyer” Online Youth Legal Clinic
Our ‘youthlaw.ca’ website provides young people with the opportunity to get legal advice directly by email. FAQ’s provide information to the public about Alberta civil law topics affecting youth.
Youth Wellness In Action
In order to reach young people and contribute to their overall wellbeing, we offer ongoing legal clinics in the City of Calgary at locations such as Forest Lawn High School.
We Care – Pregnancy, Parenting & Prevention
We partner with Louise Dean Centre, the Kara Life Program and Highbanks Society to assist young women who are pregnant or young people who are parenting with custody and access, wills, guardianship, child support and tax matters.
Pro Bono Training & Opportunities
As specialists in child representation, we have developed extensive family law training materials for lawyers to represent young people in custody and access/parenting matters. We also provide pro bono opportunities to lawyers who wish to give back to the community.
Your financial support is paramount to our success, as we are largely funded by private donors and community grants.
The generosity of our donors allows us to provide our services at no cost to our clients.
The economic downturn in Alberta has been difficult both for Calgary’s vulnerable populations, and the charitable organizations that provide services to them. An increased demand for our services has rendered us unable to meet the needs of the children who need our help.
The waitlist for children requiring legal representation in their parent’s high conflict custody and access disputes has doubled in the past four months and we expect it to quadruple by the end of 2016. In addition, the volume of youth intakes has outstripped the capacity of both our staff and volunteer lawyers. Your generosity will allow us to reduce wait times and continue to provide a high level of quality service to the Calgary community.