One of the main strategies used in Public Legal Education has been to work with people who are already a resource for a particular segment of the public.
Who is an intermediary?
Historically, that has included teachers, librarians, court workers, staff of community and social services, clergy, and others who are the ‘go to’ people for their communities. Recently, the term ‘trusted intermediaries’ has entered the PLE lexicon.
What are they trained to do?
The term ‘training’ has a variety of meanings ranging from raising awareness to mastering specific skills in a particular context. For the most part, the term is used in conjuction with the term ‘intermediary’ whenever intermediaries are the intended participants in a program or user of a resource.
Typically, intermediary training is intended to assist people in making effective referrals to other agencies. The content of these training program often consists solely of some explanation of the law and legal processes relevant to a particular legal topic plus a discussion of relevant agencies that can help people experiencing the legal problem being discussed.
More specific intermediary training may focus on interviewing, research, advocacy, or problem-solving skills. These programs tend to provide the opportunity to practice skills under supervision, either in a classroom setting or on-the-job.
Resources of Interest
Bridging the gap: access to justice through legal intermediaries http://www.slaw.ca/2013/10/23/