Professor Julie Macfarlane comments on legal aid funding

In a recent Canadian Bar Association National Magazine article, Windsor Law Professor and National Self-Represented Litigants Project Director Julie Macfarlane disputes that Canadians don't care about legal aid. According to the article, Dr. Macfarlane says the real problem is a lack of stakeholder culture in the legal system.

"Lawyers tend to be inward-facing in terms of their business model and their practice – they don't tend to be outward-facing," says Macfarlane. "They're interested in running their practice as a business. They're only marginally interested in what the rest of the general public thinks."

It's especially true when lawyers have enough paying clients, adds Macfarlane, because they don't have to think about legal aid.

"It takes a particular kind of public service mentality for lawyers in private practice to be interested in legal aid at all," says Macfarlane. "I believe this should be a public service profession and that everyone should be interested in the delivery of legal services to as wide a number of people as possible."

Read the full article on CBA National Magazine.