Student Legal Services History - 1990s



Steering Committee – Paul Alpern (Chair), Kent Brown (Director - Southside), Rebecca Knox (Director - Family Law), Stephen Leach (Director - Legal Education), Steve Mandziuk (Director - Civil Law), Trevor Morgan (Director - McLeod), Mike Slocombe (Director - Westend), David Stanford (Director - Admin. Law), Gilbert Van Nes (Director - Legal Reform)


1990 was a year of change for Student Legal Services. Advising lawyers Tony de Jong and Renee Cochard left to pursue other opportunities and in their place SLS hired Larry Anderson as the new criminal law advising lawyer, and Laurie Trahan as the new family law advising lawyer. The Layman's Lawbook was revised, and Lori-Ann was a blushing new bride, having married her sweetheart Tony Behiels. The offices were renovated, new computers were purchased and SLS signed a contract for a new high-tech photocopier from Xerox.


The policy on summary conviction appeals was also revamped, with a committee consisting of the Chairperson, the Director of the project involved, an advising lawyer and one other member of the Steering Committee being formed. The Committee would be able to assess the merits of appealable cases that Student Legal Services had taken to trial and refer them to a list of legal practitioners around the city who had agreed to take on the files pro bono.


A video project was started, with the members of SLS creating training videos for new volunteers. The Committee also had high hopes for a new office located in the Students Union Building, however after a couple of months of operation it appeared as if the demand for the office was unfortunately very low. A master court calender was created and centrally hung, allowing the administrative staff to have a quick reference, and so that routine matters located in the same court room could be handled by one student instead of many.


Perhaps the most lasting legacy of the 1990 Steering Community was a camping trip that the summer staff organized with other student legal aid organizations in the province. Their hope was that this would become an annual event, and while the attendance of the other organizations is sporadic, each and every year the summer staff of SLS packs up and goes camping for a weekend, something that is more often than not the highlight of everyone's summer.