The Golden’s Women’s Resource Centre is adding legal help to their list of services this summer.
The centre has hired a law student from the University of British Columbia as part of the Public Interest Work Placement Program funded by the Law Foundation and UBC.
Jessie Gill will be available to support women who are dealing with legal issues, have legal questions and are navigating the legal system.
“Obviously I can’t represent anyone in court, but if someone comes in, I can tell them what their options are, and if they do decide to go a certain way, I can help walk them through the legal processes,” said Gill.
“There’s a lot of information, and a lot of people don’t really know what the laws are, and what their rights are, so I can help them navigate through that and show them what is available to them.”
Sometimes it may be as simple as looking something up in a legal text book or online, but there are women in Golden who do not have access to that information.
“It’s really great. I can help someone with something that may seem trivial, but people are so grateful. So it’s been really rewarding so far,” said Gill, who speaks both English and Punjabi.
As a law student, Gill has local supervising lawyers (from Ewan & McKenzie, Fairley & Scott, and One World Law Group ), who are overseeing her and double-checking all of her work.
After growing up in Calgary and Southern California, Gill got her undergraduate degree in biology and psychology at the University of Toronto. Law had always been something she kept in the back of her mind, so the summer after university she decided to apply for law school.
“I find the classes really interesting, I’m definitely happy with the decision,” she said.
Gill came across the job posting at the Golden Women’s Resource Centre near the end of her first year.
“Accessing lawyers in rural areas is much more difficult than in Vancouver or Toronto, and that was something we talked about in class a lot,” she said. “I saw this job and thought it looked interesting. So I applied and got it, and I was really excited to try something different.” Gill has been in Golden for more than three weeks now, and is enjoying both the town and the work.
Anyone in need of Gill’s services can contact the Women’s Centre to make an appointment, but they accept walk-ins as well.