Making Contacts
Gaining support for the need to do these educational and making the appropriate contacts has been more problematic than the presentations themselves. We started with the legal profession because our personal educational backgrounds included degrees in law, and our experience included criminal work as well as family law.

We made our first contacts with the local Provincial Court Judges. We knew well the frustration experienced by women appearing as witnesses in criminal courts. We also knew some members of the Provincial Court personally. The Judges we contacted accepted our invitation for an informal coffee session. We attended this session with supportive facilitators from the local program for abusive men, and this exchange of ideas and problems provided us with the structure for a workshop.

We then approached Prosecutors and offered to do a workshop at their annual conference. By this point we had developed written material for use in the workshops, which provided a way to "market" our work. Legal practitioners who had attended our workshops indicated that the material presented would be important for lawyers to have at the outset of their careers. As in other provinces, each graduate must pass a provincial bar exam and most people wishing to practice in the province attend an annual bar admission course prior to writing the examinations. Our association was interested in reaching this group because many will practice family and criminal law and because, if we could get material included in the bar course, it would be published in binders which are available to and widely purchased by all members of the legal profession.

The written bar course materials are important also because they are often used as precedents by lawyers when drafting documents or researching practical ways of proceeding on individual cases, and they are updated annually. We developed a bar course session which differed markedly from traditional legal presentations, and it received high evaluations from the group which first attended.

Setting a framework to reach most of the legal profession in Saskatchewan was not difficult because we were familiar with what opportunities for education existed. We were also fortunate that participants at our original workshops came from several different types of legal practice. After our initial sessions in the legal community, we simply had to respond to requests for more of this work.


the passenger door
(for Monique)

we counted on me to steal lunchmeat from safe way it was always cheaper in your little car: no insurance, the passenger door sealed/broken shut and ten dollar gas for the week snatching milk crates from stores not yet open i was just less of a risk and naive enough not to fear the absolute consequences the bottom line on the bills never spelt out to me while you were already constructing means of avoidance long before the mail came but you said that this you could intuit by the way i drank milk straight from the carton at my place where you came to pick me up for our first intimate meeting that evening later confirmed my tarot's fool when i offered a sip of my beer to you at the pin-ball machine which, out of age and abuse, gave us free games you would say, months later, that you could always tell by the way the white ones either kept to their own glass or, in the case of me, drank heartily from yours my original attempts were to decipher this meaning but there remained a loss in translation so then i tried to surround and inhale and grope it out in my mind i have since reconsidered now i witness the navigations of our defiant caress even still, it is always your eyes i see first and now when we sleep and your brown arm curves down against mine, it is only in the golden deepness of summer that i feel nearer to your equal in the beauty that the skin becomes upon waking

catherine lake
Toronto, Ontario

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