Bar association offers free advice

The Barbados Bar Association is to launch a series of free legal clinics this weekend, aimed at assisting people who cannot afford legal advice.

The clinics will involve a combination of about eight senior and junior attorneys who will assess queries from the public, advise on whether or not they have a case and provide general guidance.

“It is meant to touch the wider community so that a greater cross-section of the community will benefit from this. We as the Bar Association [are] aware and sensitive to the fact that there are a number of people whose rights are either infringed or not necessarily exercised because they can’t afford that initial consultation which would direct them and let them know they do have a right or interest they can act on,” Vice President of the Bar Association Sean Lewis said.   

Citing the Employment Rights Act as an example, Lewis said members had been receiving calls daily from both workers and employers who were grappling with the provisions of the legislation.

“So just in that area alone there is a significant need,” Lewis said.

Some 33 lawyers have volunteered for the clinics, which the association’s president Liesel Weekes said would address all matters on which the public seeks guidance.

She added that the drive could lead to lawyers offering pro bono legal representation for persons who are in need.

The clinics, which begin on November 5 at the association’s Perry Gap, Roebuck Street, The City headquarters, will be held every other Saturday until June 2017, with a break in December. 

One Response to Bar association offers free advice

  1. Hal Austin November 2, 2016 at 2:58 am

    At last. What brought about this change of heart. West Inudian lawwyers in London were the pioneers of legal advice centres, people like thee Guyanese brothers Rudi and Harry Narayan, the Black Information Centre, and numerous others.
    Being a lawyer is not just about money making; look at the various advocacy groups in the US.
    In any case, we need to break up the lawyer cartel: allow lawyers to advertise, promote greater specialisation, including allowing suitably qualified non-attorney specialists to appear before various tribunals; make conveyancing a stand-alone specialism, along with inheritance planning, will-writing, stop lawyers from acting as auctioneers unless qualified as auctioneers; stop them from giving financial advice unless specially qualified.


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