GENERAL POINT OF VIEW
By Giselle General
It is unavoidable to have some challenges in life where legal advice is needed. There are many people, for understandable reasons, who are unable to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for the full services of a lawyer or law firm. Here is a list of resources that can help inform or mitigate the cost of legal services. These can also be used to aid in determining when to seek legal assistance.
1. Online Resources to Educate: It can be valuable to read these booklets or watch the videos they offer. The language in these resources are meant for those who are not lawyers, making it easy to understand. In each website their resources are sub-categorized into different areas of law.
a. Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta: https://www.cplea.ca/publications/
b. Native Counselling Services of Alberta: http://ncsa.ca/resources/
The Government of Alberta Website: Information about legal processes and the different levels of court are available right on this website. A few key links are below.
Legal Centres in the Area, by Independent Charities: These are non-profit organizations that provide legal help to those who are low-income in the area. Criteria may vary depending on one’sfinancial situation and the area of law they need help with.
a. Edmonton Community Legal Centre: www.eclc.ca
b. Calgary Legal Guidance: www.clg.ab.ca
c. Lethbridge Legal Guidance: www.lethbridgelegalguidance.ca
d. Medicine Hat Legal Help Centre: www.mhlhc.ca
e. Grande Prairie Legal Guidance: www.gplg.ca
f. Central Alberta Community Legal Clinic (Red Deer): www.communitylegalclinic.net
g. Community Legal Clinic – Fort McMurray: www.facebook.com/communitylegalclinicFortMac/
Legal Centres in the Area Runby Law Schools: The law schools in Edmonton and Calgary also offer legal services, that are runby law students. These services are for also for those who cannot afford legal aid.
a. Student Legal Services of Edmonton: http://www.slsedmonton.com/
b. Student Legal Assistance Calgary: http://slacalgary.ca/
Legal Aid Alberta: Legal Aid is a province-wide program that helps eligible Albertans with different areas of law such as criminal, family, child welfare, and more. Their website is www.legalaid.ab.ca
Alberta Limited Legal Services Project: For those who may be able to afford some of the fees that a lawyer would charge but not the whole amount all at once, this is a service where in a lawyer can be hired on a limited scope. The website is: albertalegalservices.com/
If someone needs legal help but lives in a more remote area such as a small town, it is contacting nearest organization in that area. There may be other services that are also available right at the courthouse. Hopefully, this is a valuable starting point in resolving one’s legal issues while considering financial limitations.