With almost 25 years of legal aid experience under her belt, Louise Richards brings valuable insight and knowledge to LSS as the new local agent in Kamloops.
After graduating from the University of British Columbia Law School in 1984, Louise was called to the bar a year later in 1985.
“From the beginning, I knew I was interested in legal aid access to justice issues,” Louise said.
Her legal aid career began with a position at Merritt Legal Services in 1986. This experience led to a job at the LSS office in Kamloops in 1989, which unfortunately ended due to downsizing in 2002. Still passionate about legal aid, Louise joined the Elizabeth Fry Society in Kamloops and is now the organization’s executive director, a position she still holds in addition to being the LSS local agent.
“In order to have a society in which people are equal, we all need access to justice,” Louise said. “The legal aid services provided as the local agent are a piece of that picture — it also fits in well with the poverty law advocacy services that we provide out of the same office.”
Originally from Castlegar, Louise is a fan of BC’s interior and the city of Kamloops. “Kamloops is just small enough that I can sometimes see changes and improvements on issues that I’m working on,” she explained. “And, everyone here is pretty friendly.”
Louise is involved with several groups, including the Poverty Law Advocacy Program, an Elizabeth Fry initiative that helps people with low incomes and legal issues. She’s also chair of the Kamloops Women’s Resource Group Society, which provides support and a safe place for girls and women.
Outside of work, the mother of two teenagers uses the abundant natural space in Kamloops for cross-country skiing and daily runs with her puppy Bella.