Help Centre


Find out if you are eligible.


How can I apply for Legal Aid Alberta?

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 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.

How busy is 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 means wait times can be high and we’re acting on it.

We have 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.

What types of legal issues does Legal Aid Alberta appoint a lawyer for?

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.

When can I apply with Legal Aid Alberta for a lawyer to represent me?

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.

What are the financial eligibility requirements?

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 Eligibility 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 from duty counsel.

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.

Do the financial guidelines apply to youths who are charged with a criminal offence?

No, the financial guidelines do not apply for a youth dealing with a criminal offence(s).

Are there any other eligibility requirements?

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.

What circumstances are considered?

  • The seriousness of a criminal charge
  • Whether a Legal Aid duty counsel lawyer can help you resolve the issue
  • Whether this something that can be addressed through the court’s internal programs
  • Whether the court application is likely to result in the desired outcome
What will you ask me about when I apply?

In order to determine if we are able to provide assistance, we will ask you about:

  • your contact information
  • your financial situation
    • employment status
    • employer
    • income
    • expenses
    • assets
  • your family size (number of people in your household)
  • your living arrangements
  • your legal issue


Are there any residency requirements?

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.

Can I still apply if I have an outstanding balance with Legal Aid Alberta?

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.

Can I still get legal aid if I live in a remote community?

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.

Will Legal Aid Alberta require any documents for my application?

You may be required to provide a variety of documents that could include:

  • criminal charge documents (promise to appear or undertaking to a peace officer)
  • court applications and any documents you have been served
  • financial documents that support your income information
    • Pay Stubs
    • Bank statements
    • Record of employment
    • Tax documents: T4 or Notice of Assessment
    • Letter from employer


What can I do if Legal Aid Alberta needs a document from me, and I don't have a scanner?

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.

What can I do if I think Legal Aid Alberta made an error on my file?

If you believe an error was made on your assessment you can submit a Request for Review form to have the file reviewed.

Forms – Legal Aid Alberta

If it is an error on your financial assessment please submit documents proving the accurate income information prior to submitting a Request to Review form.

What if I don't qualify?

All Albertans facing criminal charges are still able to receive brief legal advice and support from duty counsel. Duty counsel lawyers are available in courtrooms to provide brief legal advice to Albertans regardless of income. Duty counsel lawyers are your voice in a system that can seem complex, adversarial and overwhelming. Duty counsel service is free to all Albertans.

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

What can I do if I think someone has qualified when I don't think they should have?

You can send 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. Due to privacy laws, Legal Aid Alberta is not able to report to you the outcome of your complaint. All complaints are anonymous.

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