March 6, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Dr. Rachel Birnbaum, Professor, School of Social Work and Childhood Studies will receive a grant of $250,000 over three years from The Law Foundation of Ontario. Funds will be awarded during 2018-2021 to be used towards increasing use of non-traditional legal services for Ontario family cases. This research is a unique collaboration with the Ontario Bar Association; the Federation of Ontario Law Associations; the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts-Ontario Chapter; Simcoe County Family Law Lawyers’ Association; The Advocates’ Society; Superior Court of Justice and Ontario Court of Justice; as well as experts in the delivery of non-traditional legal services and Professor Nicholas Bala (Queen's University) to focus on mobilizing and educating lawyers across Ontario that will focus on mobilizing and educating lawyers across Ontario in the use of a range of limited scope services for family law matters.

The goals of the project are the following:

  • to increase the capacity of the Family Law Bar to provide a broader range of affordable, non-traditional services to members of the public who could benefit from access to legal services
  • to help Ontarians access lawyers who will provide non-traditional family law services;
  • to create a sustainable infrastructure that ensures these services will continue to be accessible
  • to provide information about the range of family law services available
  • to undertake research on the value, effectiveness and limits of different types of non-traditional, limited legal services. This research will include the experiences of the litigants, lawyers, court connected mediators and judges.

The Law Foundation of Ontario is a non-profit organization that seeks to improve access to justice for the people of Ontario. The foundation provides funding to a wide range of organizations to improve access to justice for disadvantaged groups and to help people better understand the law and the justice system.

At King’s University College, Dr. Birnbaum teaches about children and families and on the intersection between law and social work. She is a Member of The Royal Society of Canada and holds a Master of Laws (LL.M).
Watch a YouTube video about Dr. Rachel Birnbaum.

Learn more about research at King’s University College.