How can I become a Board member?

Board members are elected each fall at the clinic’s annual general meeting. You should be a member of the clinic (click link for membership form) to stand for the Board. Your membership should be accepted by the clinic at least 15 days before the meeting to be able to vote at the meeting. Board members must sign and comply with a Statement of Confidentiality and respect Conflict of Interest guidelines.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Board member with the legal clinic, please call Lynda Morgan, our office manager at ext. 25 or email us.  One of our Board members on our Nominating Committee would be pleased to talk with you.

What kind of time commitment is required?

At the present time, Board members are elected for one-year terms. Board members' time commitments vary but typically include:

  • preparation for and attendance at Board meetings, usually held the third Tuesday of each month at 4:30 for one and a half hours
  • service on one or more Board committees that meet once per month for 1 or 2 hours depending on workload
  • attendance at special Board/staff events organized on a periodic basis
  • attendance at strategic planning events or retreats, as required
  • participation at Board orientation or development events, or other learning opportunities as arranged
  • attendance at the annual general meeting each year

What kind of support is provided to the Board?

We provide a number of supports for Board members, as well as ongoing support and development. For new Board members these include:

  • Board orientation - an information session on your role, how the clinic operates, legal liability, how the Board functions
  • Board manual - reference manual soon to be available on-line also including information about the clinic, the legal clinic system, Legal Aid Ontario, poverty law, goals and policies, legal documents, and operational information

Some of the ongoing support we provide to Board members includes:

  • administrative support - the Office Manager provides support to all Board committees and the Board and facilitates Board member involvement
  • management support - the Executive Director and Office Manager attend all Board meeting to advise the Board on clinic operations
  • staff advice and information - a staff member presents on some aspect of the clinic's work prior to the formal commencement of each Board meeting
  • Board package - we mail a package of materials and background information to all Board members the week before the meeting
  • Board members web page - currently under development but will include the on-line Board manual, minutes of Board and committee meetings, resources and other information of assistance to Board members in the carrying out of their duties
  • Board treasurer - provides financial advice to the Board
  • Board development - ongoing development and learning opportunities
  • Board insurance - Board members are protected by Directors and Officer insurance carried by LAO
  • legal advice - we have a small fund annually to pay for advice with personnel situations, as needed
  • expense reimbursement - Board members who live outside of Belleville where most of the meetings are held are reimbursed their mileage expenses
  • membership in the Association of Ontario Legal Clinics (ACLCO) - one Board member can travel to the spring annual conference with expenses paid and all Board members can attend the fall regional meeting with expenses paid