At student law clinics in the Lower Mainland and Victoria, law students can help those who would otherwise not be able to afford legal aid. Students help resolve legal issues such as rent or work issues, access to state benefits, (less serious) criminal charges, and minor matters. In the Lower Mainland, call 604-822-5791 or visit lslap.bc.ca. In the Victoria area, call 250-385-1221 or visit uvic.ca/law/about/centre. Free or low-cost legal aid options include legal aid, pro bono services, legal clinics, and lawyers. Also learn the best sources of legal information to solve legal problems. If you are arrested or detained and in custody, you can call the Brydges Line to speak to a lawyer. This is a 24-hour toll-free emergency number for legal advice. Call toll-free 1-866-458-5500.
To find out if you are eligible for free legal advice or representation, visit Legal Aid BC. Free legal services are often referred to as pro bono. It means unpaid or voluntary work for the common good. Visit Access Probono for information on pro bono legal services in British Columbia. If you have a low income and are facing certain types of criminal, family or immigration problems, you may be able to get a lawyer free of charge from legal aid. Contact Legal Aid BC by visiting legalaid.bc.ca or by calling 604-408-2172 in the Greater Vancouver Area or toll-free 1-866-577-2525 elsewhere in British Columbia. Their website lists the locations of legal aid services across the province. Elizabeth Fry Legal Clinic provides free legal advice and representation to clients in the Kamloops and Kelowna area. We can help you with income assistance, limited family law, disability, tenancies (rentals, co-ops and shared housing), employment insurance, employment standards, Indigenous legal issues, human rights, small claims, civil settlement court cases, judicial reviews and other areas not covered by legal aid. The Tenant Resource and Advice Centre (TRAC) offers a telephone information line to help tenants with legal problems. They also provide free representation to tenants at dispute resolution hearings in limited situations.
Call 604-255-0546 in Vancouver or toll-free 1-800-665-1185 or visit tenants.bc.ca. MOSAIC provides legal advice and representation to low-income immigrants and refugees. They help newcomers navigate the Canadian legal system. Call 604-254-9626 in Vancouver or visit mosaicbc.org. Legal Aid BC has increased the amount a person can earn to get legal aid. We provide legal assistance in British Columbia. The law is complicated, but not everyone can afford a lawyer. We can help you with your legal problem. Courthouse Libraries BC also offers Clicklaw Wikibooks, simple legal publications that are born on wiki and can also be printed. See wiki.clicklaw.bc.ca. Visit Youth Services for legal services and resources for youth.
The People`s Law School is a non-profit organization dedicated to making the law accessible to all. Their website under peopleslawschool.ca provides education and free information to help people deal with the legal problems of everyday life. Topics include consumer and debt issues, workplace issues, wills and estates. Justice centres in Vancouver, Victoria, Surrey, Nanaimo and Abbotsford offer help with family and everyday problems such as work, housing or debt problems. Access to Justice Centres offer free mediation services and limited legal services. Many of these services are available to everyone. Some services (such as family counselling lawyers) are available to low-income people. For more information, call Service BC toll-free at 1-800-663-7867 or visit the Government of British Columbia website. If you are in custody and waiting for a bail hearing, you can get legal advice over the phone evenings, weekends and holidays. Legal Aid BC lawyers can be reached toll-free at 1-888-595-5677. Instead of hiring a lawyer to handle your entire legal case, you can hire a lawyer to handle specific parties. In this way, these tasks “stand out” of the parts you can do yourself.
Unbundled legal services give you support where you need it most, at a cost you can manage. You only pay for the tasks the lawyer is working on. The Community Legal Aid Society (CLAC) provides legal advice and support to people who are disadvantaged or whose human rights need to be protected. Visit clasbc.net or call 604-685-3425 in Vancouver or toll-free 1-888-685-6222. The Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of BC provides culturally appropriate services to Indigenous peoples in communities across British Columbia. Court staff help Aboriginal people accused of a crime understand their rights and opportunities and navigate the justice system. For more information, call nccabc.ca or toll-free 1-877-811-1190. If you have a low income and have a family law problem, you may be eligible for free telephone legal advice from a family law lawyer. Family LawLINE lawyers provide brief “Next Step” advice on family law matters. Call Legal Aid BC at 604-408-2172 in the Vancouver area or toll free at 1-866-577-2525 elsewhere in British Columbia. A Justice of the Peace (JP) is a bailiff appointed to keep the peace. Justices of the peace may perform certain judicial tasks, such as conducting court proceedings, issuing court orders, and many other services.
Justices of the peace do not need formal legal training. Visit Justice of the Peace (Provincial Court of British Columbia) for more information. Dozens of agencies provide legal assistance in specific areas for disadvantaged people or people with limited resources. Visit the Indigenous Legal Resources page for Indigenous legal resources. Justice Education Society improves people`s legal skills through educational programs and resources to build legal knowledge, skills and confidence. Visit justiceeducation.ca. Most courthouses have lawyers called public defenders. They give free legal advice to people with limited resources who have a case at the courthouse that day. If you are in court in a criminal or family matter, they can give you brief advice. They may be able to speak for you in court on simple matters. For counselling sessions at your local courthouse, visit legalaid.bc.ca or contact your local legal aid office. Visit Clicklaw for information on legal services and resources.
Look for Clicklaw`s help card to find free, low-cost legal services in your community. Clicklaw is a website operated by Courthouse Libraries BC to provide access to legal information to lay people.