Matas joins board of Barbra Schlifer Clinic
By AdvocateDaily.com Staff
Toronto civil litigator Anna Matas has joined the board of directors of the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, an organization that offers legal representation, professional counselling and multilingual interpretation to women who have experienced abuse.
“It’s a fantastic organization,” says Matas, an associate with Lerners LLP who specializes in sexual assault and abuse cases. “The clinic is very progressive and does all sorts of advocacy work aimed at advancing the law and empowering women.
“It’s a huge benefit to clients to have all of the services provided by the Schlifer Clinic available under the same roof. Many of the clinic’s clients are marginalized and isolated, and accessing each of the services separately in the community could be overwhelming,” she tells AdvocateDaily.com. “The clinic doesn't only have lawyers on staff, they also have court support workers, counselors, and they work alongside Interpreter Services Toronto to ensure clients’ experiences are accurately understood.”
In addition to direct legal advocacy on behalf of women, the Toronto-based clinic’s advocacy work includes legal reform, providing statements and submissions on government policy, intervening in relevant cases before the courts and creating coalitions and campaigns to highlight and advance issues relevant to the clinic’s purpose. Matas says the clinic’s board works on large-scale policy and provides strategic direction to the organization.
“In my law practice I provide assistance directly to individual survivors of sexual and physical violence. So for me, working as part of the Board is refreshing as it provides a chance to look at issues relating to violence against women, and how to help survivors of sexual violence, from a bigger picture point of view,” she says. “I have a huge amount of respect for the clinic and the work it does. It is a real privilege to be involved through the Board.”