These FAQs are provided by the Canadian Legal FAQs, a website of the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta. They provide answers to questions about legal services in Alberta. You will find FAQs on Commissioners for Oaths and Notaries Public, Retainers, and sources of legal asisstance available in Alberta.
The following organizations provide free or low-cost legal assistance as described.
CPLEA Suggested Resources
Not sure where to begin finding answers to your questions. Get started with our suggested resources. See additional resources below for more information.
The Limited Legal Services Project is about helping lawyers provide more limited legal services to more clients, and about letting people who might not otherwise be able to hire a lawyer know that other options are available. Check out their Guide for Clients which is intended to help clients understand the legal service options available, and whether limited legal services are right for you. The site also provides a listing of Alberta lawyers participating in the Limited Legal Services Project.
Calgary Legal Guidance provides free legal advice for individuals with low income. If you need legal information and advice on: Family issues; Criminal issues; Civil issues; Restraining Orders; Emergency Protection Orders etc; Social Benefit issues; and; an evening course on Do Your Own Divorce.
The Central Alberta Women's Outreach Society provides basic needs and emotional support for individuals as well as providing education and support in specific areas such as domestic violence, family law, and the effects of crisis on families. The Society offers a legal information and referrals program. This program provides legal information and referrals to individuals as they navigate through the legal and judicial system. Their staff will assist clients to identify legal issues and prioritize legal needs.
The Edmonton Community Legal Centre is a non profit organization that offers free legal information, advice and representation for people living with low income in the Edmonton area. The Centre helps individuals and families who have legal problems in the following areas: Landlord and Tenant; Employment/ Wrongful Dismissal; Small Claims; Income Support Advocacy; Human Rights; Debt; Immigration. The Centre is also part of the PBLA Civil Claims Duty Counsel project out of the Provincial Court. Members of the public can receive 30 minutes of summary legal advice on a first come first serve basis. NOTE: The Centre is not able to provide assistance in the areas of criminal law.
The Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary offers pathways to healing, through supports and advocacy, for women who are affected by systemic social issues which contribute to their criminalization.. The Legal Clinic Program assists federally sentenced women at Edmonton Institute for Women by addressing their legal needs. Their court liaisons and volunteers assist youth and adults in the criminal court. They provide legal information regarding plea options and processes, as well as assist individuals with referrals to legal and community resources.They also provide referrals to duty counsel and other community resources.
The mission of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Edmonton is to foster the dignity and worth of women who come into conflict with the law, and help them live as valued members of their communities. They are a not-for-profit organization that has existed in Edmonton since 1977. The society offers a variety of programs for women and girls including a legal clinic. The Legal Clinic Program assists federally sentenced women at Edmonton Institute for Women by addressing their legal needs. The society has court workers who provide information to both men and women on court procedure and plea options. They also provide referrals to duty counsel and other community resources.
Legal Aid Alberta provides quality, effective legal advice and representation that enables eligible Albertans to resolve their legal issues; Eligibility guidelines are on its web site. It is an independent, publicly funded, not-for-profit organization that provides a broad range of services in family law (including emergency protection orders) and child welfare, adult criminal law, youth criminal law, immigration and refugee services and some civil legal areas (adult guardianship / trusteeship and income supports and government benefits).
This tipsheet is a publication of the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta. It looks at the key differences between providing legal information vs. legal advice.
Native Counselling works to ensure that Native people receive fair and equitable treatment in the justice system. the Native Court Worker Program provides Aboriginal people with information about court procedures, their rights and responsibilities under the law, and advocacy, support and referrals to Legal Aid and other legal resources. Programming in this Alberta-wide organization include Criminal, Youth and Family Courtworkers; Correction centres and youth probations; and Family and community wellness.
Student Legal Assistance (SLA) is an association of law students at the University of Calgary which provides year-round free legal assistance and representation to University of Calgary students and members of the public who are unable to afford legal services. Our services include: Representing qualifying individuals in Provincial Court for criminal, traffic, family and civil matters in Calgary, Banff and surrounding areas; Providing legal advice and services at the Calgary Drop In Centre; Assisting students with academic appeals; and Providing summary legal advice. A nominal disbursement charge applies to non-University of Calgary students.
If you have been charged with an offence, SLS's volunteer law student caseworkers are able to act as your agent (representative) in the Provincial Court of Alberta. SLS caseworkers act under the supervision of advising lawyers. The program can help low income Albertans SLS provides information on assault, impaired diriving, driver's license suspenstion arrest warrants jaywalking tickets, traffice offences, pardons and criminal record suspension and more...
The Women's Centre of Calgary is an ongoing source of information, support and advocacy. The Centre offers women quick access to emergency food, personal care supplies and bus tickets. It provides referrals to other agencies for food, clothing, furniture, housing, health, employment, education and recreation. The Centre operates a Legal Advice Clinic where volunteer lawyers provide free, half-hour legal advice sessions to women. The clinic is aimed at providing women with the preliminary information and support they may need to access the legal system. Family and other types of law are addressed, but not criminal law.
This directory provides a listing of services available in your specific region. You can search by location and category for social and legal services available in Alberta.
The Alberta Legal Information Centre is an initiative of the Association des juristes d'expression français de l'Alberta (AJEFA). It provides free and confidential legal information, support and referral services to all Albertans. Their services are offered in person, or remotely (mail, email, fax and telephone).
Youthlaw.ca is a website of the Children's Legal and Educational Resource Centre (CLERC). CLERC offers legal advice, information, referrals and services to children and youth.The Legal Topics section of their website offers answers to some common questions asked by youth regarding their legal rights. Lawyers at CLERC provide representation to young people 19 years of age and under who have nowhere else to turn for legal support.
The Calgary Chinese Community Service Association is an ethnocultural community service agency. CCSA offers four core programs: Children and Youth, Integration and Civic Engagement (ICE), Health Program, and Legal Program. Their Law and Advocacy Program is funded by the Alberta Law Foundation and provides a range of services including: basic legal information and referrals, Commissioner for Oaths and Notary, a free legal outreach clinic and will and estate documents drafting services.
Calgary Legal Guidance offers legal advice and assistance to newcomers who are looking for help in various immigration law matters. The Immigration Law Project can assist clients with: Making a claim for refugee protection, Preparing and filing applications for permanent residence, Applying for work permits,temporary resident visas and study permits, Family sponsorship issues, and Representation in specially considered cases. CLG offers three free legal advice outreach clinics at the following locations: Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (CIWA) (403.263.4414) - Offering advice in Family and Immigration Law; Centre for Newcomers (403.569.3325) Offering advice in Family and Immigration Law; and Immigrant Service Calgary (403.265.1120) Offering advice in Immigration Law for permanent residents and Canadian citizens. Call each location directly to book an appointment
The Central Alberta Community Legal Clinic (CACLC) provides legal advice and information to people who cannot afford a lawyer and do not qualify for legal aid. Volunteer Lawyers provide information and summary legal advice in the Clinic Program about a variety of legal matters including family and civil law, by appointment only.