Legal aid services range from legal information and legal advice to legal representation.
To get a lawyer to represent your client, their legal problem must be covered by Legal Aid BC and they must qualify financially. The coverage areas for which your client may qualify are:
- criminal charges,
- serious family issues,
- child protection matters,
- immigration problems, and
- mental health and prison issues.
Clients looking for legal advice also have to qualify financially. Our legal information is free. See Publications.
How to help your client apply for legal aid
You can help your client apply for legal aid by:
- preparing them for the intake interview they’ll have when they call their nearest legal aid location or the LABC Call Centre (see How to apply), or
- initiating an electronic legal aid application for a family case on your client’s behalf when they’re unable to apply themselves due to COVID-19, personal barriers, or other reasons.
What your client needs to know about and should expect from a legal aid contract
If your client is approved for representation by a legal aid lawyer, they must agree to the Legal Aid Representation Services Contract. To find out about contract terms, see the sample contract.
Your client should expect a certain standard of service with their legal aid contract. But they also need to understand their role and responsibilities. To find out more, consider giving them a copy of Working with Your Legal Aid Lawyer.
How to change a legal aid lawyer
If your client wants to change the legal aid lawyer assigned to their case, they can ask the intake legal assistant at the office where they applied for a "Change of Counsel Request — Client Questionnaire."
How to apply for a review of a legal aid decision
If an intake legal assistant tells your client that they’re not financially eligible for legal aid or that their case isn't covered by legal aid, they can ask for a review of this decision. They can ask the intake legal assistant who refused the application to provide them with a "Legal Aid Application — Refused" form and return it to that office or send it to:
Provincial Supervisor, Legal Aid Applications
425 – 510 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 3A8
Even if your client isn't eligible for legal representation, they may be eligible for legal advice. Legal Aid BC also provides free legal information services.
How to make a complaint about a legal aid lawyer
If your client wants to make a complaint about their legal aid lawyer or a duty counsel lawyer, see Complaints.
How to send Legal Aid BC feedback
If your client wants to let Legal Aid BC know what they liked about the services they received, see Tell Legal Aid BC what I liked on the Contact us page.