USC agrees to increase Legal Services' funding

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

At the last University Students’ Council meeting a motion was put forward to increase funding to Community Legal Services.

The motion to increase student fees by $1.25 was approved overwhelmingly by Council.

Community Legal Services is staffed mostly by volunteers from Western’s law school and provides free legal guidance and services for Western students and the London community.

University Students’ Council President Fab Dolan said the increased funding is part of a USC agreement to ensure a high service standard.

When the motion was first proposed, Dolan said he was wary of increasing student fees; however, he voted in favour of the motion’s final provisions.

“The big part of the agreement is to make sure there are mechanisms to review CLS’ budget,” Dolan said.

He added the agreement includes a guarantee CLS won’t service London community members before servicing students.

“We supported it because it offers a rare triple benefit: value for money for Western students, experience and jobs for Western law students, and a service to the London community,” said Aaron Lee-Wudrick, president of the Legal Society and a USC member. “While we’re always wary of supporting fee increases, the fact it had been 16 years since any increase was a big factor in our decision.”

“For most students, I would hope they never have to use CLS,” Dolan said. “If they’re in a position where they need the support or the advice, it’s invaluable.”

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