Advocacy & Legal

Find advocates and free legal services to support you

Resources

Access Pro Bono Society of BC

Provides free legal advice to people who can’t afford a lawyer

Amici Curiae

Free support in completing legal forms or preparing for a court appearance

 

Atira Legal Advocacy

Low-income women (inclusive of transwomen) in the Downtown Eastside can obtain free legal advocacy in a safe and confidential, women’s only space

 

BC Ombudsperson

Assists with complaints about the administration of government programs and services, such a delay receiving service or a disagreement with a decision made​

BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre

Advances the interests of groups that are generally unrepresented or underrepresented in issues of major public concern, including helping people make complaints​

 

BC Representative for Children and Youth

Supports young people and their families in dealing with the provincial child and youth welfare system. The Representative is a non-partisan, independent officer of the legislature.

BC Seniors Advocate

Monitors seniors’ services and issues in BC, making recommendations to government and service providers to address systemic issues. If you are a senior or have an issue related to seniors you want to report, get in touch with them.​

Brydges Line

A free service available 24-7. You can call 1-866-458-5500 to speak to a lawyer if you are arrested, detained, and under investigation by a law enforcement agency

CLAS BC

Provides free legal support to low-income persons over issues of housing, human rights, workers' rights, sexual harassment, and more

City of Vancouver: Make a Complaint 

Report fraud, waste, or misconduct by city employees through this online form. Make a complaint about city council or advisory committee members to the Integrity Commissioner.

 

Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP

Receives complaints from the public and conducts reviews when complainants are not satisfied with the RCMP’s handling of their complaints. The Commission is not part of the RCMP.

Complaints Against Licensed Security Workers and Businesses 

Make a complaint to the Registrar about a licensed security worker or business

Dial-A-Law

Features free information on the law in BC in 190 topic areas.​

 

Disability Alliance BC

Provides income advocacy and planning support for people with disabilities. If you need help with disability assistance issues or feel you have been discriminated against due to a disability, they are a great resource.

 

Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre Advocacy

Advocacy services are delivered to women who require assistance with legal or governmental bodies. Areas of advocacy include issues related to child and family issues, tenancy, benefits, and more.

Elder Law Clinic

Offers free legal services to eligible older adults residing in British Columbia on a wide range of legal matters

First Call BC

Puts the province's children and youth first through public education, community mobilization and public policy advocacy

 

First United Legal Advocacy

Offers legal assistance, advice, and representation to low-income and vulnerable people in the Downtown Eastside, with a focus on tenancy and social assistance issues

Human Rights Clinic

Provides free legal services to people who need help with a provincial human rights complaint

 

Immigration and Refugee Legal Clinic

Provides free legal advice and representation for low-income people, focusing on assisting individuals and families whose immigration or refugee legal issues are not covered or easy to serve in the traditional legal aid system

Indigenous Community Legal Clinic

Advice and representation for criminal matters, Aboriginal law/Indigenous legal issues, family law matters, child protection, human rights complaints, letters of administration, police complaints

Indigenous Justice Centre

Provides free legal services to Indigenous clients living in under-served areas of the province where access to legal advice or representation is difficult or non-existent

Judicial Review Guides

Self-help guides for BC's judicial review processes. A judicial review's a court action in which a judge reviews the decision of a tribunal or other legal decision-maker for errors or unfairness.

 

Justice Education Society

Helps people to understand their legal rights and take the next step to address their legal issues

Kinship Care Help Line

Provides support, advocacy and resource information to grandparents and other relatives raising a family member’s child as well as to service providers and allies

Law Students' Legal Advice Program

Free legal advice for people who cannot afford a lawyer. UBC law students are supervised by practicing lawyers.

Legal Aid BC

Provides a range of free legal services. Priority’s given to people with low incomes, but many services are available to all British Columbians. Apply by phone in your community.

 

Legal Rights For Youth

Information about legal rights for youth in BC

 

MLA Offices

The office for your Member of the Legislative Assembly can help resolve issues you are having with provincial government or within the constituency

MP Offices

The office for your Member of Parliament can help resolve issues you are having with federal government or within the constituency

Native Courtworker and Counselling Association 

Helps Indigenous people navigate the criminal justice system in BC, while providing support services for a healthier and more satisfying life free from alcohol, drugs, and violence

Office of Police Complaints Commissioner

You can contact the OPCC to make a complaint against the municipal police

Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments

Have a problem with your bank? The Ombudsman can help you resolve it.

Parents Legal Centre

Helps parents with child protection issues

Patient Advocates

Provide support in navigating the health care system

Resilience BC

Offers a province-wide approach to identifying and challenging racism. Learn how to report hate crimes, human right violations, and more.

RISE Women's Legal Centre

Provides free legal services to low-income women dealing with family law issues such as divorce, custody, protection orders, child support, and spousal support

Seniors First BC Legal Services

Provides legal services to people age 55 and over, who are not able to access legal help elsewhere due to low income or other barriers

Small Claims Court

In small claims court, people can settle their differences in cases worth up to $35,000. The rules and procedures for small claims are less formal and complicated than Supreme Court.

Learn more about small claims court and its procedures with small claims court guides.​​

 

Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre

Provides free legal education and advocacy for BC tenants. You can reach their tenancy infoline at 1-800-665-1185

Vancouver Aboriginal Transformative Justice Services

Provides justice, homelessness and crime prevention services to Indigenous people within Metro Vancouver

 

Wilson Heights Advocacy

Has assisted many hundreds of clients with a variety of personal issues and challenges including housing, income and food security, and disability

YWCA Legal Supports for Women

Offers legal support to women who have experienced violence or abuse

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

I need help with a tenancy issue

  • The Tenant and Resource Advisory Centre provides free legal education and advocacy for BC tenants on a wide range of topics. You can reach their tenancy infoline at 1-800-665-1185.

 

I’ve faced discrimination because of gender, race, disability, or age

  • The BC Human Rights Clinic provides legal services for people who need help with a provincial human rights complaint. Call them at 1-855-685-6222.

 

  • Disability Alliance BC runs a disability law clinic which provides legal guidance to people who’ve faced discrimination due to their disability. Call their law clinic at 1-800-663-1278.

 

I’m having a dispute over custody, child support, or another family matter

  • Justice Access Centres help with family and civil law issues such as separation or divorce, income security, employment, housing, or debt.

  • RISE Women’s Legal Centre provides free legal services to low-income women dealing with family law issues such as divorce, custody, protection orders, child support, and spousal support 

 

I wasn’t paid all my government benefits and need help collecting

  • Your first step should be to contact the ministry or authority responsible for providing your benefits

  • CLAS BC provides free help to people looking to access their benefits

 

  • BC’s Ombudsperson can also investigate why someone’s not getting benefits they believe they are entitled to, or why they may be experiencing lengthy delays in receiving a public service

 

I want to make a complaint about a BC public health care service

  • You can make complaints to patient care quality offices. If you’re not satisfied with their response, you can take the issue to the Patient Care Quality Review Board, or the Quality Care and Safety Office for the First Nations Health Authority. See the Health and Wellness section for more details.

 

I’m a senior and need legal help

  • Seniors First BC has legal advocates and lawyers who can help low-income seniors (55 and over) with a wide range of legal issues. Call 604-437-1940.