Legal aid assistance is available at the courthouse from duty counsel and legal services officers.
If you have a court appearance and are unrepresented, you may wish to speak to duty counsel. Duty counsel are lawyers who can give immediate legal assistance to people without a lawyer, for free. You do not have to qualify financially or visit a Legal Services Centre ahead of time. Simply go directly to the courthouse where the matter is being heard and ask to speak to duty counsel.
Read more to learn about how duty counsel may be able to help you.
Legal Services Officers
Legal services officers frequently make off site visits to area courthouses, correctional centres or remand centres to do legal aid assessments. To arrange a site visit, please visit our contact page.
What to expect
At the courthouse, you will speak with a legal services officer who will assess what type of services will best meet your legal needs. Depending on your financial eligibility, you may receive legal advice and/or brief services from a staff lawyer. (This would be received by calling and/or visiting a Legal Services Centre afterwards) In other cases, you be referred to other LAA services/programs, an outside agency, or we may appoint a lawyer to represent you.
What you will need
We recommend bringing the following information/documents with you:
- Personal indentification (Example: driver's license, passport)
- Motor vehicle registration(s) for any vehicles that you own
- Proof of your current financial situation (Example: bank statements, recent pay stub, tax return)
- Any court documents related to your legal issue
What you will be asked
Services provided by LAA are determined first by the client's financial eligibility, and also by the type of legal issue they have. When you speak with a legal services officer please be prepared to answer questions about:
- marital status
- family size
- living arrangments