Aboriginal Legal Aid in BC

Legal aid can help you

Do you have a legal problem? Legal Aid BC has a range of free services that may be able to help. We give priority to people with low incomes. But many of our services are available to all British Columbians.

We also have services for Aboriginal people.

We're committed to increasing awareness of Aboriginal legal rights and supporting the strengths of Aboriginal cultures and communities.

For in-person help with getting legal aid, see Who can help.


What is legal aid?

Legal aid is a range of free services, including:

  • legal information,
  • legal advice, and
  • legal representation.

We give priority to people with low incomes. But many services are available to all British Columbians. We also have services for Aboriginal people.

Find out more

Legal information

Our legal information is free. It's available to everyone. It includes:

Find out more

Visit site »

Legal advice

If you don't qualify for representation by a legal aid lawyer, you may still be able to get free legal advice through our duty counsel lawyers and other services. Our services include:

Criminal law

Family law

See Legal Aid BC's website to find out if you qualify for legal advice.

Immigration law

Find out more

Legal representation

If you qualify, you may be able to get a lawyer to take your case for:

  • serious family problems;
  • child protection matters (see Parents Legal Centre);
  • criminal law issues; or
  • some immigration, mental health, and prison law issues.

How do I apply for legal aid?

You can apply for legal aid by phone or in person. Please have your financial and court information handy when you apply. To find out what information you'll need, see the Legal Aid BC website. If you don't have all the documents we need, we'll tell you what to do next.

Applying by phone

Call our province-wide Call Centre at 604-408-2172 (Greater Vancouver) or 1-866-577-2525 (no charge outside Greater Vancouver).

All callers have an initial interview in which our staff ask questions to determine eligibility for our services.

Call Centre hours

9:00 am to 4:00 pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays

9:00 am to 2:30 pm Wednesdays

Applying in person

See the map of our offices across BC. It's a good idea to phone your local legal aid office or check the Legal Aid BC website to find out the office hours.

Outreach to Aboriginal communities

Legal aid offices provide intake outreach services in the following communities:

  • Kamloops — Adams Lake, Neshonilith, and Chu Chua
  • Nanaimo — Qualicum, Snaw-naw-as, Penelakut, Lake Cowichan, Snuneymuxw, Malahat, Lyackson/Halalt, and Stz'uminus
  • North Vancouver — D'Arcy and Mount Currie
  • Salmon Arm — Splats'In
  • Victoria — Tseycom Reserve, Esquimalt First Nation, and Port Renfrew Reserve

Who can help?

Find an advocate

BC211 — Free confidential referrals to help and information — Call 211

BC Association of Friendship Centres — Find a friendship centre in your area

Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation — See their Guide to Indigenous Organizations and Services in British Columbia for organizations that can help

PovNet — Information about poverty issues and links to organizations that can help

Legal information

Aboriginal community legal workers — Give legal information and limited advice services

Legal information outreach workers — Give legal information and provide referrals

Legal help

Legal Aid BC

Community partners — Give legal information and connect people to legal aid

Duty counsel — Give free legal advice

Family duty counsel — Free legal advice — Kwadacha and Tsay Key Dene — Call 1-877-601-6066 (no charge)

First Nations Court duty counsel — Give free legal advice about having your matter transferred to First Nations Court and the charges against you — Call 604-601-6074 (Greater Vancouver) or 1-877-601-6066 (no charge outside Greater Vancouver)

Parents Legal Centre — Provides a free lawyer and an advocate to help parents in select locations address the social worker's concerns about their children's safety (child protection) early on. Together they can help find solutions that work for the family.

Other free legal help

Access Pro Bono Law Clinics — Free legal help

Carole James, MLA, Community Office — Free legal clinic, including family and criminal matters — Call 250-412-7794

First Nations and Métis Outreach Program (The Law Centre) — Free legal help, including family matters — Victoria

Native Courtworkers and Counselling Association of BC — Give culturally appropriate services to Aboriginal people involved in the criminal justice system — Call 604-985-5355 (Greater Vancouver) or 1-877-811-1190 (no charge outside Greater Vancouver)

Bella Coola Legal Advocacy Program — Free legal help — Bella Coola

UBC Indigenous Community Legal Clinic — Free legal help on various legal matters — 604-684-7334 (Greater Vancouver) or 1-888-684-7334 (call no charge)

Upper Skeena Counselling & Legal Assistance Society — Free legal help — Hazelton

Victoria Native Friendship Centre — Free legal clinic, including family and criminal matters — Call 250-412-7794