Instead of hiring a lawyer to handle your entire legal case, you can hire a lawyer to handle specific parties. In this way, these tasks «stand out» of the parts you can do yourself. Unbundled legal services give you support where you need it most, at a cost you can manage. You only pay for the tasks the lawyer is working on. Unbundling works well for many people and many types of legal issues, but not for everyone. To learn more about unbundled legal services and whether they might be right for you, visit unbundlinglaw.ca. The Community Legal Aid Society (CLAC) provides legal advice and support to people who are disadvantaged or whose human rights need to be protected. Visit clasbc.net or call 604-685-3425 in Vancouver or toll-free 1-888-685-6222. Legal Aid BC is funded primarily by the Province of British Columbia and provides approximately 93% of the company`s annual budget.  The remaining seven percent is compiled by state law and notarial foundations.
Provincial funding and, subsequently, legal aid services in the province have been declining for nearly two decades.  Approximately 40% of the one-time budget has been reduced, equivalent to nearly $50 million.   The largest decline in these funds occurred in 2002, when they were reduced by almost $30 million.  The province of British Columbia has the third highest capital expenditure on legal aid in Canada.  If you are arrested or detained and in custody, you can call the Brydges Line to speak to a lawyer. This is a 24-hour toll-free emergency number for legal advice. Call toll-free 1-866-458-5500. MOSAIC provides legal advice and representation to low-income immigrants and refugees. They help newcomers navigate the Canadian legal system. Call 604-254-9626 in Vancouver or visit mosaicbc.org. The People`s Law School is a non-profit organization dedicated to making the law accessible to all. Their website under peopleslawschool.ca provides education and free information to help people deal with the legal problems of everyday life.
Topics include consumer and debt issues, workplace issues, wills and estates. Justice Education Society improves people`s legal skills through educational programs and resources to build legal knowledge, skills and confidence. Visit justiceeducation.ca. Publicly funded legal aid services are provided through the Legal Services Society of British Columbia in certain circumstances. They can be reached at www.legalaid.bc.ca. Other free or low-cost services, including online legal information, are available at: If you are not qualified to be represented by a legal aid lawyer, you may still be eligible for other legal aid services. These include court-appointed lawyers and lawyers who provide advice by telephone. Courthouse Libraries BC also offers Clicklaw Wikibooks, simple legal publications that are born on wiki and can also be printed.
See wiki.clicklaw.bc.ca. If you have a low income and have a family law problem, you may be eligible for free telephone legal advice from a family law lawyer. Family LawLINE lawyers provide brief «Next Step» advice on family law matters. Call Legal Aid BC at 604-408-2172 in the Vancouver area or toll free at 1-866-577-2525 elsewhere in British Columbia. Free or low-cost legal aid options include legal aid, pro bono services, legal clinics, and lawyers. Also learn the best sources of legal information to solve legal problems. Visit the Indigenous Legal Resources page for Indigenous legal resources. Ask a lawyer to take your case and represent you in court. More than 25,000 people receive legal assistance each year. Services are available for family, immigration and criminal matters and include legal information, advice or representation, depending on the client`s legal issue.
 In March 2011, the Public Commission on Legal Aid in British Columbia was published. In it, «the vast majority of submissions [public and private] spoke of the overall failure of our legal aid system, the negative impact on individuals and families in need, and the resulting negative impact on our communities and our justice system.»  The Commission recommended, inter alia, an increase in the stable and long-term funding of the NSSO and the official recognition of legal aid as an essential public service. In November 2011, Robert J. Bauman, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, declared that the province`s judicial system is «threatened, if not in danger.» Inadequate funding for the courts [including legal aid] in British Columbia has been a reality for several years. We are not yet at the tipping point, but we are getting closer.  Dozens of agencies provide legal assistance in specific areas to people who are disadvantaged or have limited resources. To find out if you are eligible for free legal advice or representation, visit Legal Aid BC. At student law clinics in the Lower Mainland and Victoria, law students can help those who would otherwise not be able to afford legal aid. Students help resolve legal issues such as rent or work issues, access to state benefits, (less serious) criminal charges, and minor matters.
In the Lower Mainland, call 604-822-5791 or visit lslap.bc.ca. In the Victoria area, call 250-385-1221 or visit uvic.ca/law/about/centre. If you are in custody and waiting for a bail hearing, you can get legal advice over the phone evenings, weekends and holidays. Legal Aid BC lawyers can be reached toll-free at 1-888-595-5677. In communities across the province, lawyers provide free support and advocacy to marginalized and low-income people with legal problems.