Darin Thompson's CPD Podcast | Julie Macfarlane (#7) | 1 Hour of CPD
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What is one thing Julie wants people to understand about being a law professor?
It means you are duty bound to advocate for the norms of the current legal system.
It doesn't mean you necessarily accept the norms of the current legal system.
It has no relevance to the norms of the current legal system.
What does Julie think is unique about the National Self-Represented Litigants Project?
The legal clinic model with rights-based summary advice may not reflect the way people try to figure out their own legal problems now.
It's a more holistic picture of what happens in the justice system.
Some things that NSRLP does don't come intuitively to traditional justice system actors.
It drills down justice and legal problems to the level of what is happening to ordinary people.
All of the above.
Why does Julie say about the importance of empirical and qualitative legal work?
It's better than relying on an expert with a fancy title saying "I have a feeling that...".
It helps you understand what's happening to people - at their level, rather than only hearing from experts.
Both of the above.
Neither of the above.
What does Julie say is (approximately) the rate of self-representation in family courts in Canada?
Less than 10%
Up to 80%
What does Julie's research say about the reasons SRLs don't have lawyers?
They would almost always prefer to engage with the justice system on their own.
They find themselves with legal problems and they try to get legal help but can't afford it (or can't continue to afford it over the life cycle of a lawsuit).
They don't trust lawyers, even though they could afford to pay for them.
None of the above.
What does Julie think is one of the justice system structural problems impeding access for people?
There is not enough lawyer advertising allowed.
The system was set up on the presumption that everyone will show up with an expert agent.
There are too few judges.
There are too few available courtrooms.
We need more law schools to train more lawyers and address a supply shortage in the market.
What is Julie's tip for lawyers dealing with a self-represented opponent party?
Let your own client know you're going to have to spend time dealing with the self-represented litigant to get the best outcome.
Tell your client you are only allowed to talk to other lawyers, and won't be talking to the SRL.
Tell your client that they will get a better result if they do all the talking with the other side.
What is Julie's call to action for people working in the law?
People who are part of the legal profession or who want to become part of it need to take on the challenge of transforming it.
Remember there are real people's lives being affected by the access to justice crisis.
Both of the above.
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