Our first A2J All Stars for Atlantic Canada are Heather de Berdt Romilly, Executive Director, and Wendy Turner, Manager of Legal Information Services at Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia (LISNS).
LISNS operates a legal information line and responds to individuals with legal questions via email and live chat on their resource rich website. This platform also hosts variety of apps and guides which include an app for small claims court, a wills preparation app, and guides for self represented litigants.
This year LISNS launched a Safe at Work app, an app dedicated to addressing sexual harassment at work, including the trauma associated with being a victim of workplace sexual harassment (https://www.legalinfo.org/apps/safe-at-work/).
Furthermore, LISNS will be expanding this app into the Safe Spaces App to help victims of trauma associated with legal conflict in general. The app includes a range of healing help through art therapy sessions, compassionate listening and an anonymous ‘share your story’ option. It also provides links to various supports across Nova Scotia and to our bystander training focused on creating respectful spaces.
Wendy Turner has a long history with the organization and believes that one of the core goals of LISNS is early intervention and prevention of legal problems. “We want to prevent legal problems from escalating and snowballing into something that becomes really difficult to manage, where someone may end up in court, where they could have avoided that outcome”. She hopes that people will be able to have a baseline understanding of the law so that they can recognize when a problem has a legal component and be able to address it, whether that’s on their own or with the help of a service provider, a lawyer, or through the courts. “That’s the core of access to justice, it’s very much about the front end– the whole base of the pyramid rather than the tip top of the pyramid, which is just about court” she explains.
We are excited for the release of the Society’s Safe Spaces App and we know we will continue to see amazing things from these A2J All Stars going forward!