You can apply by phone at 1-866-845-3425. We are open Monday to Friday from 8:15 am to 4:15 pm (excluding holidays). Our wait times fluctuate throughout the day depending on the volume of callers. Youths, callers currently being held in custody, callers with criminal court within 2 weeks, and callers needing to start a new application are provided priority phone access.
For information on our eligibility criteria please visit Eligibility – Legal Aid Alberta
We have more than 34,000 clients across the province and the need for legal help never stops. LAA Contact Centre agents field hundreds of calls every day. Significant demand, and pressures due to COVID-19, means wait times can be high and we’re acting on it.
We recently implemented more reliable Contact Centre technology to better support clients and our teams taking calls on the frontlines. We have hired more staff to meet demand.
Our legal practice is focused on critical services Albertans need the most. In order to have a lawyer appointed to represent you, your legal issue must be one that we cover:
Adult criminal cases account for a significant portion of our caseload, followed by family issues, youth crime, child welfare cases, and immigration matters.
People with legal issues that don’t qualify for legal aid, such as housing and tenant disputes, wills and estates and traffic tickets, are referred to other partner agencies in Alberta – from legal clinics to social assistance organizations and counselling services. We have connections in the community to help people find the support they need.
Unless your issue falls under the two categories below you are able to apply at any time.
Criminal law issue
You can apply after you have been charged with a criminal offence. We are not able to assign a lawyer if you haven’t yet been formally charged by the police.
Children’s Services issue
You can apply after Children’s Services has filed a court application or there is an ongoing court case with Children’s Services. We are not able to assign a lawyer if Children’s Services is wanting to speak with you about an issue, only once they have made a court application.
Legal Aid Alberta considers income in the past 30 days and the past 12 months. To meet the financial eligibility guidelines your income has to meet both criteria.
For details on the financial guidelines please visit Resources – Legal Aid Alberta
Regardless of financial eligibility, all Albertans facing criminal charges are able to request brief legal advice and support in advance from duty counsel within 14 days of their court date. For more information see Early Appearance Assistance.
Duty counsel are lawyers that are employed by Legal Aid Alberta who help people understand the court process and who give free legal advice to people representing themselves at their first court appearance. Duty counsel is typically found at the courthouse and most often speak to clients before their court appearance. They do not become involved in trials.
For more information on Duty Counsel see Duty Counsel – Legal Aid Alberta
No, the financial guidelines do not apply for a youth dealing with a criminal offence(s).
In addition to financial eligibility, Legal Aid will also consider the circumstances of the issue you are dealing with to determine if we can assign a lawyer.
In order to determine if we are able to provide assistance, we will ask you about:
To qualify you must be a resident of Alberta or be a resident of Canada with a court case in Alberta. If your court case is in a different province/territory you need to contact the local legal aid program of that province/territory.
Yes. You can apply for coverage on a new legal issue even if you have an outstanding bill with us for a previous matter. We will discuss your payment arrangements each time you apply.
We are Alberta-wide, which means legal help is close no matter where you are.
We represent clients in more than 75 communities. This is possible because we have a network of 1,200 roster lawyers who take legal aid cases. Roster lawyers are practice practice lawyers who play a crucial role in serving disadvantaged Albertans, especially in remote communities.
You may be required to provide a variety of documents that could include:
For the majority of documents you are able to take a picture using a smartphone/camera and submit it via email. Please make sure that the picture is readable and the entire contents of the relevant page is captured. You will be notified in advance if any documents are not able to be photographed and submitted.
If you believe an error was made on your assessment you can submit a Request for Review form to have the file reviewed.
If it is an error on your financial assessment you are asked asked to provide documents proving the accurate income information prior to submitting a Request to Review form.
All Albertans facing criminal charges are still able to receive brief legal advice and support from duty counsel in advance within 14 days your court date regardless of their financial eligibility. For more information see Early Appearance Assistance and Duty Counsel – Legal Aid Alberta
If you are dealing with a criminal matter or a court case involving Child and Family Services, you may be able to submit a Rowbotham Application to the courts. Through this application, you may still be able to receive a lawyer from Legal Aid Alberta even if you do not meet the eligibility criteria.
You can access our Support Services resource page to find other services and agencies that may be able to assist you. Support Services – Legal Aid Alberta
You can submit an email to [email protected]. Please include the name, date of birth, and any relevant information on why that individual should not qualify for assistance. Documents supporting your information are not required but can be beneficial. Due to privacy laws, Legal Aid Alberta is not able to report to you the outcome of your complaint. All complaints are anonymous.