Early Appearance Assistance

Albertans can begin dealing with criminal matters up to 14 days before their first court appearance, by phone, saving trips to the courthouse and speeding the process up.

Early Appearance Assistance gives Albertans dealing with criminal matters an opportunity to speak with duty counsel up to 14 days before their first court appearance. Providing early access to legal advice streamlines an accused’s initial appearances and prevents unproductive “churning” in the court system.

It is also beneficial for self-represented accused to connect with LAA earlier to make their application, and be provided legal advice before their first appearance in court. Requests for this service are given a high priority in our Contact Centre. Early Appearance Assistance is an important part of our strategic priority to ensure our services are accessible and delivered fairly to Albertans.

Benefits to Albertans

  • Access to justice
  • Options
  • Safety

Early Appearance Assistance News


At Legal Aid Alberta, we help some of Alberta’s most disadvantaged citizens. This is an impactful responsibility. By keeping our focus on staying accountable to Albertans, we’re innovating and re-imagining processes to deliver access to justice, making the best use of our expertise and resources, so that we can make the biggest possible impact in our province.

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