Mission: Promoting access to justice by providing legal assistance to those in need and engaging the legal community in this goal.
Mtre Geeta Narang founded the Mile End Legal Clinic following her call to the Bar in 2002. Driven by the desire to assist those in need, and deeply convinced of the law’s ability to improve the lives of individuals economically and socially, with better access to the law and justice, she partnered with the Mile End Community Mission, a community organization in her neighbourhood, set up a table with chairs, and began offering free legal consultations every Wednesday. This is how the story of the Mile End Legal Clinic begins.
The Clinic has come a long way since then: it became an official non-profit organization in 2008 and obtained its registered charity status in 2009. The same year, Mtre Narang received the Young Bar Association’s “Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year” Award. She was awarded the Médaille Saint-Yves in 2011 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 in recognition of her work in promoting access to justice.
In 2012, the Clinic hired its first full time Executive Director and in 2013, it started managing the services of the Tyndale St-Georges Legal Clinic, in Little Burgundy. In June 2017, the Clinic expanded its services one again, opening its third service point in Park Extension.
The Clinic’s service points
Since 2002, the Clinic has expanded its model and services to other neighbourhoods. The Clinic’s service model rests on three important components:
- We offer free legal consultations from within organizations already deeply rooted in their communities. This allows us to reach a greater number of potential clients and marginalized individuals in particular.
- We work hard to create a welcoming space to reduce feelings of intimidation that individuals may face in having to deal with a representative of the legal system.
- We guarantee the financial accessibility of our services by offering them free of charge.
Mile End Legal Clinic
Consultations are offered every Wednesday evening, thanks to a partnership with the Mile End Community Mission since 2002.
Tyndale St-Georges Legal Clinic
The Tyndale St-Georges Legal Clinic was founded by Me Colin K. Irving. He offered legal consultations until his passing in 2013. He was profoundly committed to promoting access to justice and was also the President of Mile End Legal Clinic Board of Directors. Since 2013, the Tyndale St-Georges Legal Clinic has become a service point of the Mile End Legal Clinic and consultations are offered on Monday evenings.
Park Extension Legal Clinic
In 2016, lawyer Alice Monet and Sasha Dyck, a nurse and Vice-President of the Comité d’action de Parc-Extension (CAPE) Board of Directors, approached the Clinic about replicating its service model in Park Extension. Recognizing the dire need for legal services in that neighbourhood, the Clinic partnered with CAPE to open a third service point. The project became a reality in May 2017 thanks to funding from Quebec’s Ministry of Justice Access to Justice Fund. The Clinic hired Me Anne Thibault as its new Legal Director to open and manage the Park Extension service point. Consultations are offered on Monday afternoons and evenings in CAPE’s offices, located in the William Hingston Complex at the heart of Park Extension.