Lawyers Erin Brandt, left, and Paula Krawus are travelling Northern B.C. in The Law Bus, bringing legal services to smaller northern communities. Melanie Law photo

Travelling lawyers hope to make legal services accessible in every community

A new company is creating a network of experts to connect rural communities with services

Two lawyers from the Lower Mainland have embarked on a tour of Northern British Columbia to bring more legal services to communities.

Erin Brandt, one of the founders of Reach Legal, which launched last month, is travelling with fellow lawyer Paula Krawus, visiting Williams Lake, Quesnel, Mackenzie, Tumbler Ridge, Dawson Creek, Fort St. John and Fort Nelson.

The idea behind Reach Legal is to create a network of lawyers, to allow rural communities access to a range of services and practice areas.

“All of our lawyers are B.C. based and you can book a consultation directly with a lawyer on the website for a short phone conversation or a video conference,” explains Brandt, who co-founded Reach Legal with her business partners Simon Kent and Brent Ellwyn.

Brandt explains that Reach Legal is also connecting with local lawyers in each city they visit, to foster that idea of a community of lawyers.

“We are not in competition with local lawyers. We hear about communities across B.C. that don’t have any lawyers, don’t have enough lawyers, or have lawyers who are heading into retirement and no one is filling their place. We are trying to fill the gaps in legal services. We want to offer practice areas that aren’t currently being serviced.

“We want to be a resource for them and we want them as a resource for us,” she comments, noting that Reach Legal lawyers may need to call on local lawyers to be present during litigation if travel is not possible.

“We want to partner with the lawyers in the communities we are visiting,” she says.

Brandt and Krawus say all the firms in the Reach Legal network already work with clients across B.C., so Reach Legal is adding the one-stop-shop element to their offering.

“No matter what niche of law people need help with, legal services are accessible, in the sense that they are a couple of clicks away,” says Krawus.

Brandt says the company offers video conferencing as a way to make that personal connection that is often important to people in rural communities.

“We can leverage that technology as much as possible,” she says.

Both Brandt and Krawus are employment lawyers, and will be delivering presentations on employment law issues throughout Northern B.C. They held events in Williams Lake yesterday, and will be hosting a talk focused on small business tonight at Community Futures North Cariboo on Vaughan Street at 7 p.m.

They are also holding a round table event at Community Futures on Wednesday morning (May 9), which will be geared towards professionals in accounting, banking, human resources, and more.

For more information visit reachlegal.ca.

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