• Kyla Sandwith

Introducing Aspire Legal Access Initiative

What is it about a blank slate that’s so intimidating? A blank canvas, a fresh blanket of snow, a new blog – all ripe with possibilities and yet the first brush stroke, the first step, the first words are fraught with anxiety and trepidation. And, so it is with the project we’ve embarked on.

We’ve been given a mandate from a visionary group of Calgary lawyers and seed funding from UCalgary Faculty of Law to address the growing unmet needs of self-represented litigants in the area of family law. The only caveat was that we do it in an innovative way, that we rethink the traditional model of legal services delivery; traditional law firm operations and structures; our role as lawyers; and, our relationship with our clients. A proverbial blank slate.

The risks and challenges are high, but the public need is even greater. So, we gather up our courage and make our first mark by announcing the opening of the Aspire Legal Access Initiative!

Our vision is lofty but our aims are simple:

  1. Leverage technology to develop and deliver innovative legal services to self-represented litigants in the area of family law. Focus on unbundled, sliding scale flat fee services that empower clients to manage their own case;

  2. Provide a forward looking articling experience that better prepares students to deliver legal services in the 21st century; and

  3. Share our data, experience, and lessons learned with the broader profession to support a data-driven, objective discussion around access to legal services and innovation in the legal profession.

So, join us on this journey of innovation and see what we do with the blank slate before us! Connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn and sign up for this blog – it promises to be an adventure worth taking!

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