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 British Columbians of any income to find a suitable lawyer to serve their legal needs is the Lawyer Referral Service. This program, operated by Access Pro Bono, can connect you with a lawyer for a free half-hour consultation.
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 August 2019