Legal Clinic

Aim

This frame of legal clinic has been setup as a working and operational guideline for members of the Association of Psychotherapists and Councellors (Singapore) and their clients. It is meant to provide pro bono legal consultation for a specific issue and within a limited time frame. Further than those seeking service beyond those provided by this legal clinic shall need to negotiate the relevant legal fees and cost with the provider of the legal clinic.

Clients

This legal clinic shall provide service to the following only:

  1. Members of good standing belonging to APACS.
  2. Membership fees are up to date (to be verified by Treasurer before commencement of service).
  3. Clients of members of APACS who cannot afford getting legal service (this is to be verified by the attending counsellor/therapist and referral made. A mean test will be used for the purpose of determining whether or not the client merits the pro bono service). Referring counsellor/therapists needs to fulfill (a) and (b).

Consultation

  1. Consultation shall be for a specific issue and not general issues.
  2. The number of pro bono consultation shall be for a single session only with each session lasting for 60 minutes.
  3. Thereafter the client shall negotiate with the legal service provider for extension of service that can include fees chargeable etc.
  4. Counsellor/therapist issues shall not be included in this service because all counselling/therapist clinicians can use their clinical supervisors for this purpose (issues relating to transferences, counter transferences, counsellor's emotional issues, counsellors private issues). 

Procedures

Members who wish to consult the legal clinic shall need to email to Mr. Brown Pereira with copy to APACS Hon. Treasurer and giving the following details:

  • Name of member
  • Membership number
  • Brief issue (e.g. need to clarify housing rules concerning rental, client seeking seperation from spouse - what is the legal implications? etc)
  • Session will only proceed after Hon. Treasurer ascertains that the member is of good standing and that all fees are up to date. Verification shall be done within one week from the date of the email whereby the Hon. Treasurer will email the legal clinic service provider of the clearance.

Counsellor/Therapist's Clients

  • Here the counsellor/therapists will follow similar procedures as above.
  • However upon clearance, the legal clinic service provider shall then send the counsellor/therapist a "mean test" form to the referred client to ascertain that the client is from a low-economic group. This is to avoid clients who can financially afford engaging normal legal advisors taking advantage of the system.
  • Upon ascertaining that the client really requires the service, the legal clinic provider shall contact the counsellor/therapist and proceed thereafter to make the necessary appointment.

Exclusion & Indemnity

This service is to be seen as merely offering some "membership benefits" to members of APACS and that the association cannot be liable or held responsible for any adverse effects/outcomes that befall to the counsellor/therapists or their clients. The Association acts in good faith only as a referral center for providing pro bono legal referral services for the benefits of APACS counsellors/therapists and their deserving clients.