National Lawyers’ Referral Database
“I want a lawyer who understands the complexity of the challenges I face. When there’s so much ignorance about HIV out there, and so many prejudices about people like me, it helps to have someone who ‘gets it’ when I need to deal with legal issues on top of everything else.”
— Member, AIDS Committee of Toronto’s Positive Youth Outreach
Each year, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network receives hundreds of inquiries from people living with HIV or AIDS (PHAs) and from front-line workers in community agencies about a range of legal issues. Often, people need not only basic information but also legal advice or services specific to their particular situation. The Legal Network does community legal education and provides information when we can, but we are unable to provide direct legal services to individual clients. In response to the need for these services, the Legal Network is building a national referral list of lawyers who are able and willing to handle HIV-related cases. This will help AIDS service organizations and people living with HIV/AIDS find the right lawyers in their communities when they need help.
The national lawyers’ referral list will connect lawyers with potential clients; in some cases, it will also connect lawyers with other experts in the field who can assist in handling a client’s case. We will use this list when we receive a call from an individual or organization seeking legal advice. Our policy analysts will screen the call to determine the category of law required and will provide the individual or the organization with contact information for the lawyer(s) from the appropriate area of practice, in their region, who have signed up for the referral list.