If you are of limited means, there are options for free legal help:
- If you have a low income, and are facing some types of criminal, family, or immigration problems, you may be able to get a lawyer for free from legal aid. If you don’t qualify for representation by a legal aid lawyer, you may still be eligible for other legal aid services. These include duty counsel and lawyers who provide telephone advice.
- With pro bono legal services, lawyers volunteer to provide free legal advice and assistance to those who can’t afford a lawyer or get legal aid.
- At student legal clinics in the Lower Mainland and Victoria, law students can help those who would otherwise be unable to afford legal assistance.
An option for anyone seeking a lawyer is to get a low-cost consultation with a private lawyer. Lawyers across BC participate in the Lawyer Referral Service, which can connect you with a lawyer for a half-hour consultation for $25 plus taxes.
Another option for some is instead of hiring a lawyer to handle an entire legal matter, to hire a lawyer to handle specific parts. Doing so “unbundles” these tasks from the parts you can do yourself. With unbundled legal services, you get assistance where you need it most, at a cost you can manage.
We explain all of these options and more in our page on free and low-cost legal help.
This information applies to British Columbia, Canada
Reviewed in March 2019