What is Access to Justice?
It can be difficult for some people to get the legal help they need. Perhaps they:
- can’t afford a lawyer
- don’t understand how the legal system works
- are afraid they won’t understand what a lawyer tells them
- don’t want a legal fight – they just want to solve a straightforward issue
- can’t read or write English
- have disabilities that interfere with their communications
- live in a region where there are few lawyers to help them
When this happens, people cannot access the justice system itself, or obtain justice for whatever has happened to them.
How BC Notaries already help provide access to justice
BC Notaries practice throughout the province. We are regularly found in small communities, helping people with everyday legal issues like buying or selling a home or business, making Wills or Powers of Attorney, or notarizing important documents.
If you are representing yourself – in a divorce or other legal proceeding, we can help you execute the documents you might need for that proceeding – court documents like affidavits, or with other important legal documents like statutory declarations or certifications.
BC Notaries speak over 80 languages. If English isn’t your first language, a BC Notary may be able to help you in your language of origin.
BC Notaries are highly trained legal professionals – graduates now have a Masters in Applied Legal Studies from Simon Fraser University, and take ongoing continuing education every year in order to stay current in their areas of practice.
BC Notaries help make complicated issues understandable. We work with regular people – individuals and their families who have straightforward legal needs. We can help guide you through the legal system and make it less confusing.
BC Notaries are trained as mediators; our approach to most issues is a collaborative, not adversarial.
BC Notaries will often go to a client’s home, hospital or care facility if there are mobility issues.
Why does the public rely on BC Notaries for Access to Justice?
BC Notaries help clients navigate through their legal issues easily and affordably. We help clarify complicated legal issues, so you can understand what you are trying to do, and what your options are.
The law isn’t always easy, but we can help you clarify what you need, and find a solution. If we can’t provide the solution ourselves, we will help you sort out how you can get to the solution.
In a recent survey, The Mustel Group found that:
- 89% of people who have used a BC Notary have a favourable impression of BC Notaries (compared to a 72% favourability rating for lawyers)
- 91% of those who have used a BC Notary are satisfied with the services they received, and 70% say they are “very satisfied”
- 90% of those who have used a BC Notary would recommend them to others
Looking forward – other ways in which BC Notaries could help more people
BC Notaries are trusted by their clients to provide a wide range of legal services. Many British Columbians would like their BC Notary to be able to help them with more services.
In that same Mustel Survey:
- 60% of British Columbians would like to see BC Notaries be able to assist them with more legal services
- 75% of people who know about BC Notaries would support legislation that would expand the field of services a BC Notary could provide
If you need legal help, start with your local BC Notary. We will do our best to help you, and if we can’t help you, we will help you get where you need to go.
Tags: Access to Justice, Lawyer