Client Success: Ola Malik of Calgary Legal Guidance appointed as a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta

Congratulations to Ola Malik on his appointment as a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. We were honoured to work alongside Ola on our recent strategic planning efforts with Calgary Legal Guidance.

“I wish Justice Ola Malik every success as he takes on his new role. I am confident he will serve Albertans well as a member of the Court of Queen’s Bench.”

—The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Justice Ola Malik was born in Calgary, Alberta. He is bilingual and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Calgary and an M.A. in European Politics and Administration at the College D’Europe in Bruges, Belgium. He went on to earn his LL.B. at King’s College London, University of London, and was then called as a Member of Lincoln’s Inn to the Bar of England and Wales. He completed his studies at the Schulich School of Law, where he received his LL.M.

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Our Work with CLG:
The Finley Team was originally hired by CLG’s Board to support the organization with its strategic planning and Board governance. Over the course of several strategic planning sessions, the Board worked to refresh CLG’s strategic framework and develop an exciting new direction for the organization. Our work grew to include governance support to several Committees including rewriting the Bylaws. CLG’s work is critical to our community and we were honoured to work with them! Special thanks to their amazing Executive Director, Marina Giacomin, for all of her effort and enthusiasm!!

CLG’s Story:
A handful of students-at-law attending the University of Alberta were nearing the end of their 1970/71 academic year and planning their summer vacation. All residents of Calgary, they recognized there was a lack of free legal services available for low income people living in Calgary so began a project to extend access to justice to individuals needing legal support.

The project mandate was to provide legal advice and assistance to people with low incomes and ineligible to receive legal aid because their problems were not covered by the Legal Aid Plan of Alberta. Original funding for their eight week summer project known as Student Legal Services, was provided by Imperial Oil and the Provincial Student Employment Program. Four law students were employed for a total of eight weeks and were supervised by two Calgary lawyers.

Office space was obtained with the assistance of the executive assistant to the Mayor of Calgary, Rod Sykes. Donations from Calgary Law Firms, Corporations and individuals were collected and paid the monthly rent and telephone expenses for this summer project. 31 Calgary lawyers volunteered during that summer. Following the summer of 1971, the project was temporarily discontinued until the summer of 1972 while the students returned to University.

Recognizing that community members encountered legal issues year round, Governance was established, and on February 14, 1972 the Society was incorporated.

In 1972 five law students were hired under a Federal Government Opportunity for Youth grant to continue the previous summer’s project under the name Calgary Community Legal Services. A grant from the Federal Department of Justice enabled the fledgling Society to continue operation during the fall and winter months of 1972. The first full time employee was hired and 35 lawyers volunteered during this year. Over 800 legal problems were handled. Students began to represent persons in Provincial Court (Criminal Division), Small Claims Court and in Family Court as agents.

In 1977 the name changed to Calgary Legal Guidance, but the mandate to provide equal access to justice to financially disadvantaged Calgarians has remained constant. Learn more

To indicate your interest and learn more, reach out to us today.