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General legal information and services
The British Columbia Law Institute cannot offer legal advice or make referrals. However, a number of resources are available for BC residents seeking legal advice or information.
- If you wish to make a complaint about a lawyer or have questions about the legal profession, please contact the Law Society of British Columbia.
- If you wish to find a lawyer, please use the Lawyer directory provided by the Law Society of British Columbia. The Lawyer Referral Service program will connect you with a lawyer that practices in your area. Call 604-687-3221 or 1-800-663-1919 | Mon – Fri, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Operators are available to take your call. Once the area of law is determined, the operator will provide you with the name and telephone number of a lawyer in your geographical area. You are entitled to up to a half hour consultation for $25 (plus taxes). This consultation is to determine whether you have a legal problem. There is no obligation to hire.
If you know you have a legal problem and need to hire a lawyer, the Lawyer Referral Service can help you find a lawyer at their regular rate. Out-of-province and country requests can contact the Lawyer Referral Service by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Canadian Bar Association’s Dial-A-Law Library offers free legal information on a variety of topics in British Columbia, via a library of scripts. For more information, check out its website or call 604-687-4680 / Toll-Free: 1-800-565-5297
- The website Clicklaw is a free hub for legal information in British Columbia. Users can explore resources, read the answers to common questions, and connect with service providers across the province.
- The Legal Services Society offers government-funded legal services – including both legal advice and representation – to those that qualify, in addition to access to free publications and other resources. It also offers specific services focused on family law and Aboriginal legal aid.
- Access Pro Bono BC provides pro bono legal services for individuals and non-profit organizations of limited means. Their programs cover various subjects and range from summary legal advice clinics to full legal representation services.
- Seniors First BC offers legal services to people age 55 and over who are unable to access legal help elsewhere due to low income or other barriers. You will also find additional resources in their links directory. Its Seniors Abuse and Information Line is a toll-free telephone line staffed 7 days a week (excluding holidays) from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Call 604-437-1940 / Toll-Free: 1-866-437-1940
- Law Students Legal Advice Program (LSLAP) connects clients with students from the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC who, supervised by lawyers, provide legal advice and representation to those who cannot afford it. Please call 604-822-5791 to schedule an appointment.
- Rise Women’s Legal Centre offers women legal services in family law, child protection law, and wills drafting with the help of students from the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC.
- TRU Community Legal Clinic connects legal students with British Columbians in search of legal aid.
- Community Legal Assistance Society runs numerous programs to provide disadvantaged British Columbians with legal aid. They specialize in housing, income security, workers’ rights, mental health and human rights law.
- The Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia operates under provincial law to protect the legal rights and financial interests of children, to provide assistance to adults who need support for financial and personal decision making, and to administer the estates of deceased and missing persons where there is no one else able to do so. Contact the PGT through their website or at (604) 660-4444.
- Have a tenancy issue? The Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre provides residential tenants with information, education, and support relevant to their needs.
Services for Seniors Across Canada
- The Advocacy Centre for the Elderly provides legal services for eligible low-income seniors in the Greater Toronto Area. To make an appointment, call 416-598-2656.
- In Kingston the Queen’s University Elder Law Clinic is a non-profit student run program offering legal advice to older adults in Kingston who cannot afford a lawyer. To book an appointment, call 613-533-2950.