Legal aid by the numbers

The Demand For Legal Aid

Thousands of people apply for legal aid every year. To qualify for representation by a lawyer, applicants must have a low income and their legal issue must be covered by our policies. Lawyers are contracted by Legal Aid BC to do legal aid work on behalf of eligible clients.

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Child Protection Law

70% of child protection applications are approved. Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, you may have a right to a lawyer if your children might be taken away by the government.

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Criminal Law

83% of criminal applications are approved. If you are charged with a crime and are at risk of going to jail, under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms you may have a right to have a lawyer represent you in court.

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Family Law

54% of family law applicants are approved for a lawyer to represent them. There is a high demand for family law services, but to keep within budget, Legal Aid BC has to limit these services to situations where safety is at risk or there’s a persistent denial of access to children.

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Immigration & Refugee Law

72% of immigration applicants receive a lawyer to help them apply for refugee status or to face an immigration proceeding that could result in removal from Canada.


Parents Legal Centres

Parents Legal Centres (PLC) help parents with their child protection matters in 10 communities across the province. 26 PLC Network locations increase access to PLC services.

In 2020/21, PLC staff provided legal representation to 571 new clients and held 693 engagement activities with Indigenous communities.

PLC legal aid clients

How We’re Funded

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Funding in 2020/21 was almost $105.4 million. Most of our funding comes from the BC government. We also receive generous funding from the Law Foundation and Notary Foundation.

We Are Accountable

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We are accountable for public funds and are required by government to have a balanced budget.

Direct Lawyer Services


Close to 986 lawyers in private practice take legal aid work.

Lawyers represented over 21,164 legal aid clients and provided over 94,290 legal advice services.

Direct lawyer services include lawyer representation in court, legal advice services, and duty counsel.

Direct Information Services


Legal Information Outreach Workers interacted with clients 9,698 times.

The Aboriginal Community Legal Worker working in Nanaimo/Duncan interacted with clients 175 times.

Legal information services are provided in person and over the phone.

Legal Information Services


Legal Aid BC is the largest producer of public legal information in BC.

161,070
Publications distributed

18,171
Publications downloaded

Annual Website Users

615,294
Family Law in BC website

20,182
Aboriginal Legal Aid in BC website

213,646
Legal Aid BC website

51,222
MyLawBC website

More about us