Ask a Lawyer: Navigating the court system for the first time

Senior Advisory Counsel Danny Lynn appears on Global News Morning to talk about a day in the life of a duty counsel lawyer and training opportunities for private practice lawyers on the LAA roster.

Communications and Public Relations
May 09, 2022

“It’s like being pushed onto the stage during a Shakespearean play. You don’t understand what people are saying, and you don’t know what’s being expected of you.”

This is how a client of Legal Aid Alberta’s (LAA) Danny Lynn, senior advisory counsel, described the experience of heading to court for the first time. Lynn talks to Global News Morning on Ask a Lawyer about duty counsel’s essential role in the court system and how LAA is strengthening its team of duty counsel lawyers.

Related: What is duty counsel?

For most Albertans, the court system can be intimidating and confusing, particularly for those unfamiliar with the justice system. Duty counsel’s role is to provide on-the-spot legal information, advice and assistance to unrepresented people, including Albertans who are charged with a criminal offence.

This spring, LAA has bolstered its province-wide duty counsel team with new opportunities for roster lawyers, “offering professional development training and job shadowing for upwards of 60 private practice lawyers,” Lynn explains.

“This is part of a move across Alberta to keep our roster lawyers up to date and understand what’s expected of them and court procedures in different areas of law.”

LAA’s network of 1,200 skilled, dedicated roster lawyers are helping us deliver effective, high quality legal services to Albertans in more than 75 communities.

Watch now:

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Previously on Ask a Lawyer:

Ask A Lawyer: Refugee options for those fleeing Ukraine and elsewhere

Ask a Lawyer: Holistic approaches to legal problem-solving

Ask A Lawyer: Courts and COVID-19: What Albertans need to know

Ask A Lawyer: How Drug Treatment Courts break the cycle of crime and addiction 

Ask A Lawyer: Tips for co-parenting and holiday visits

Ask A Lawyer: Family violence and the legal tools that can help protect families

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