Heidi stepped away from a thriving civil litigation practice in 1994 to take a position as a policy lawyer at Legal Aid BC (Legal Services Society). She wanted to effect change in the justice system by ensuring the limited resources available for legal aid were utilized with the user of the system in mind. During her first three months with the organization, Heidi worked with a small team to re-invent the service delivery model by introducing a case-managed approach to the allocation of family resources. The Family Case Management Program became the national and international prototype for managing complex cases funded by legal aid providers.
From 2002 through to 2005, Heidi played a key role in the development of the organization's self-help Family Law website, the design and deployment of the Family Duty Counsel Program, the introduction of the Supreme Court Self-Help Centre (the first of its kind in Canada), the delivery of advice via a telephone hotline, and use of legal information outreach workers to assist pro se litigants. In 2003, Heidi was appointed to the Family Law Working Group for Justice Reform Task Force. The culminating report set the stage for the creation of the Justice Access Centre (a project Heidi co-designed and implemented with the executive director of the government's Family Justice Branch), the development of the expanded family advice pilot project, and the framework for the Family Law Act.
In the mid 2000s, Heidi initiated the first of a series of evaluations intended to measure the outcome of these innovations from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective. Developing, implementing and then measuring the benefits of legal aid services became the key methodology for securing ongoing funding for our growing spectrum of information and advice services.
Prior to her appointment as the director, Legal Advice and Representation in 2009, she was the director of Public Legal Information and Applications from 2005 to 2008. In addition to her work as the executive vice president of Legal Aid BC's Legal Services Division, Heidi is also the project lead on the Justice Innovation Transformation Initiatives.