Legal aid

Legal aid assistance

Legal aid – legal assistance if you can’t afford to pay for a lawyer – is available to those who qualify.

Based on your legal issue and financial eligibility, Legal Aid Alberta may provide you with services that include:

  • legal advice and / or brief services
  • limited scope of full representation

Note: Limited scope services may include document drafting / review, negotiations, attendance at settlement meetings, and coaching and research.

What's important to know

Operating independently of the Alberta government, Legal Aid Alberta:

  • makes free-of-charge assistance available in most criminal courts of first appearance / docket court
  • assists with civil and criminal (including young offender) cases
  • runs 4 Legal Service Centres in Alberta
  • directs clients to other appropriate legal services

If you can’t afford a lawyer

Contact one of these organizations to see if you’re eligible for their services:

Legal Aid Alberta

They can provide you with a lawyer at an affordable cost or no cost if you need and qualify for assistance for certain criminal or civil matters and don't have the resources to hire a lawyer.

Law Society of Alberta Referral Service

They can refer you to a lawyer who’ll provide you with 30 minutes of free legal advice.

Edmonton Community Legal Centre

They can offer you free legal advice and representation if you’re a low-income Edmontonian with a specific civil law issue.

Law Information Centres (LInC)

If you want to represent yourself in court or in a legal matter, they can help you complete court forms and understand court procedures; access legal information, cases and precedents; identify alternatives to court such as mediation; and provide legal advice options.

Calgary Legal Guidance

They may be able to provide you with free legal advice.


Student Legal Services (Edmonton)

They may be able to provide you with free legal advice.


About Legal Aid Alberta

  • Legal Aid Alberta’s operations are overseen by a board of directors appointed by the Law Society of Alberta
  • Alberta Justice and Solicitor General provides annual grant funding to Legal Aid Alberta
  • its funding is cost shared with the Department of Justice Canada
  • it also receives funding from the Alberta Law Foundation and client payment contributions

2015 Review

The Alberta government is reviewing legal aid services.

The review will identify how best to provide legal aid services to Albertans in a cost-effective manner that ensures the services are available for years to come.

Learn more