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.
How it works
The database connects lawyers with potential clients; in some cases, it also connects lawyers with other experts in the field who can assist in handling a client’s case. We use this list when we receive a call from an individual or organization seeking legal advice or services that we can’t provide.
Our policy analysts determine the nature of the legal inquiry and the type of lawyer needed, then provide the contact information for the lawyer(s) from the appropriate area(s) of practice who have signed up for the referral list. It’s up to the lawyer and the client to make arrangements about the services needed and any fees involved. We can often also assist lawyers providing these services by equipping them with additional information and resources about HIV and specific legal issues related to HIV.
If you’re a lawyer in Canada who is supportive of people living with HIV and would like to be of assistance, including sometimes providing help pro bono or for reduced fees, please register here to be included in the National Lawyers’ Referral Database:
If you’re looking for a lawyer in Canada who is supportive of the rights of people living with HIV and affected communities, contact us with the details of your inquiry at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at +1 416 595-1666.