Young people will be able to better understand their legal rights and get help with legal advice under a new pilot scheme announced yesterday.
The Youth Community and Legal Clinic will bring together volunteer young lawyers and law students, providing free legal online consultation services to youth in need.
The clinic, to be rolled out in the coming months, will be administered by the Law Society Pro Bono Services, with support from the five Community Development Councils (CDCs), the National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Management University (SMU) and Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).
The youth receiving the legal services will also be able to tap the CDCs' network and resources for social assistance if needed.
The initiative was announced virtually by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong yesterday.
Law Society Pro Bono Services chairman Gregory Vijayendran said youth are more likely to be receptive to getting advice from a peer who is closer in age to them and from the same generation.
The young lawyers and law students will also be more empathetic towards the needs and aspirations of youth, who will be able to relate better to them and confide in them.
Mr Vijayendran said: "We hope the pilot clinic will help youth navigate challenges potentially impacting their mental, psycho-social and financial health, relationships and families in a holistic and integrated way."
Mr Tong also announced the renewal of two memorandums of understanding (MOU).
One is between the CDCs and the Law Society Pro Bono Services for its Community Legal Pro Bono Services Network, which helps those who need free legal advice.
HELP WITH NAVIGATING CHALLENGES
We hope the pilot clinic will help youth navigate challenges potentially impacting their mental, psycho-social and financial health, relationships and families in a holistic and integrated way.
'' MR GREGORY VIJAYENDRAN, chairman of the Law Society Pro Bono Services.
The other is an MOU among the CDCs, Law Society Pro Bono Services, NUS, SMU, SUSS and the Singapore Corporate Counsel Association, to pledge their commitment to providing pro bono services to the community and organising the annual Law Awareness Weeks (LAW) @ CDC event.
Yesterday, a discussion session was also held as part of the commencement of LAW @ CDC 2020, themed The Law And Me: Stronger Together.
Mr Tong and Mr Vijayendran were among those who attended the session, which also involved pro bono lawyers and law students.
They addressed topics such as employment, divorce, advance legal planning, as well as new topics not raised previously - family violence, small businesses facing a crisis, dealing with creditors, freelancing in a crisis, working from home, and landlord and tenancy matters.