The Criminal Trial Group will expand our full-scope criminal law offerings to select adult clients, taking on a limited number of specific matters only, where our staff lawyers might be able to provide a high level of service to especially vulnerable clients, such as youth transitioning to adult court.
This will be an extremely limited number of certificates, handled by two lawyers in Edmonton and two in Calgary, and we do not anticipate that this will impact the volumes going to the roster. We will also be providing enhanced support and mentorship for roster lawyers taking Youth Certificates for both full representation and Duty Counsel throughout the province.
As we begin this first stage of the project, we will be looking at what clients LAA staff can best support—keeping in mind choice of counsel, and the valuable work that our roster currently provides. We anticipate a significant increase in demand for legal aid in the coming months due to COVID-19 and its effects on the economy and on unemployment. Within this context, our goals in establishing this new unit are to find ways to focus our expertise most effectively, to enhance the support and mentorship we can offer you, and to continue to improve access to justice for all Albertans.