Legal Help and Alternatives to Court (Covid-19)
|This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. This page was last updated by Clicklaw team on June 2, 2020 - 01:30 PM PDT.|
This page provides links to information about changes to free or low-cost legal help & info services, and alternatives to court.
This list is a starting point and is not meant to be exhaustive. It is not intended to give legal advice on your particular legal problem.
Legal help & lawyers
PovNet maintains a list of programs and services that have changed or are temporarily closed, including poverty law advocates. See their Covid-19 Service Changes.
Clicklaw HelpMap is a searchable database, where you can find those who can help with legal problems within British Columbia. In general, you can call or email the program to find out about their availability. We have updated community legal advocates listings and continue to update the rest with information regarding accessing individual services during the pandemic.
- Access Pro Bono BC: Services have moved to telephone and online delivery. The court-based Civil Chambers Program is closed on a temporary basis. British Columbians can call 604-878-7400 or 1-877-762-6664 (low income) or 1-800-663-1919 (Lawyer Referral Service for anyone).
- Amici Curiae Legal Forms Workshop: In-person services are suspended. Moving to virtual workshop beginning April 1st. See more info on how it works and the appointment booking form here.
- Courthouse Libraries BC: All 29 locations are closed. For assistance with finding legal information, members of the public can email email@example.com or leave a voice message: 1-800-665-2570 (toll-free) or 604-660-2841.
- Legal Aid BC: Taking applications for legal aid over the phone only, not accepting in-person applications. Call the Provincial Call Centre (604-408-2172 or 1-866-577-2525) or the local agent in your community.
- People's Law School: Offices are closed. Public legal education classes are postponed. For assistance, call 604-331-5400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Justice Education Society: If you have legal info questions, please Ask JES. Volunteers are available live M-F 11-2 via text or phone to 855-875-8867, or web chat https://justiceeducation.ca
- Justice Access Centres & Family Justice Centres:
- In-person services are discontinued temporarily, including the Self-help Resource Rooms and services provided by justice partners located in the Justice Access Centres. Services will continue through telephone and other virtual service options until further notice. In locations or circumstances where services are required prior to or as part of a family court process (e.g Rule 5 or Victoria Early Resolution and Case Management Prototype), services will continue to be available through the use of technology. All callers to local centres will be advised of the service options available to them.
- Clients with appointments already scheduled with Family Justice Counsellors or Child Support Officers will be contacted directly by our local offices to discuss options for how that appointment can proceed.
Alternatives to court
- Mediate BC's Quarantine Conflict Resolution Service: a new, three-week pilot project offering a service for people in a conflict arising from quarantine or isolation. Sliding scale fees.
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