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Improving Refugee Law Services in Ontario: Lessons Learned from Mentorship Program

Kristin Marshall, Lawyer Supervisor, Toronto East Immigration Legal Services

Published April 20, 2018 by Technologies of Justice.

During a session titled Immigration and Refugee Law Issues Under The Microscope, Kristin Marshall discusses improving refugee law services in Ontario and the lessons learned from mentorship programs. The session took place on January 27, 2018, at the Technologies of Justice Conference, hosted at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.



Marshall spoke about the low lawyer success rates for minority claimants because of systemic misconduct in 2008 to 2012 Hungary. She explained her study on the lack of proper submission of documents by lawyers causing deportation and the way bad representation can cause excessive trauma in refugee claimants. She emphasized the constant outcry from community workers and refugee advocates about the way the refugee law system was treating them, and how instead of helping these people, the legal safety nets were taken down, making the poor representation worse.
She illustrated the process of becoming a refugee lawyer, in which you must apply and be anonymously reviewed, and how mentoring practices started causing trouble because of dynamics and relationship issues between mentors and learners. She proposed a solution of videos and mentorship resources in the digital field and described the process of working to implement and create success using technology to facilitate better mentorship practices.