Answering the call: Meet the frontline intake staff who assist Albertans during the pandemic

Legal Aid Alberta hires additional Contact Centre staff to meet increased demands for services amid COVID-19

Samantha Busby, Communications and Public Relations
December 09, 2020

Starting a new job amid the pandemic isn’t easy, but for Elise, her strong background in customer service made her a great fit as a Legal Aid Alberta (LAA) Contact Centre Intake Officer (CCIO).

Many clients call LAA during the most difficult times in their lives. Whether it’s a parent dealing with a family law issue, a youth who’s been arrested, or a new immigrant making a refugee claim, CCIOs are trained to respond to the calls.

While Legal Aid Alberta lawyers serve on the frontlines of the justice system, the Client Contact Centre continues to be the front door of the organization. 

Receiving about 1,000 calls a day, CCIOs are often a client’s first point of contact with LAA.

Watch: Contact Centre Video

Elise tries to ensure that each client’s experience with LAA is a positive one. “Even if the conversation doesn’t start off on a good note, I always strive to turn things around.”

CCIOs complete an assessment over the phone to determine if LAA can assist the client. Based on their needs and financial eligibility, CCIOs guide clients through to the service that may help them resolve their legal issues.

CCIOs are completing assessments for all eligible criminal, family, and immigration matters and LAA continues to have a priority line for youth clients and individuals who are in custody.

During this challenging time, LAA’s Contact Centre is experiencing very high call volumes. In response, LAA has increased its hiring efforts, welcoming 10 new hires since spring, to meet the demand for LAA services during the pandemic.   

Elise joined LAA in February, right before the first case of COVID-19 hit Alberta. As an extrovert with years of experience in retail and reception, she naturally gravitated to this field and has always enjoyed interacting with her clients 

“The best part of my work is providing the same level of customer service that I would like to receive,” says Elise. 

Elise enjoys her job at LAA because it always keeps her on her toes. “You get so many different types of calls. It always challenges you to always find a way to be successful.” 

Another CCIO, Chelsea, also joined LAA in the spring.  

Over the last 10 years, Chelsea helped her father manage their family food business. Recently, she decided it was time for a change and made the decision to pursue a job at LAA.  

The timing was perfect, and she considers her job a blessingEven during this crazy pandemic, everything happens for a reason, she says.  

Chelsea is thankful for her amazing and supportive managers and enjoys a healthy work-life balance at LAA.  

For Chelsea, it is rewarding and motivating to help Albertans who need LAA services. She has heard from her clients that things have been exceptionally tough this year. “Some are really struggling because they’ve lost their job and face legal issues.”  

“I always put myself in their shoes.” 

The pandemic threw us all some curveballs this year, but Chelsea is focused on assisting her clients. “I always put myself in their shoes.”

Legal Aid Alberta is always looking for great people to join the team. If you want to grow your career, make a difference, and be a part of an exceptional team, check out LAA Careers. 

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