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 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 goal of the Court Assistance Program (Queen's Bench Amicus Program) is to improve access to justice for self-represented litigants appearing in Queen' Bench Justice and Masters Chambers. This program brings volunteer lawyers into Chambers, where they act as 'amicus curiae' and help the court understand the issues related and the positions taken by unrepresented litigants. The program offers opportunity for courtroom advocacy in a positive environment, which can give great skills-building experience for lawyers and students, and the program is beneficial for overall professional development, mentoring, networking, building collegiality, and enhancing the public image of the legal profession. This service is available in Calgary and Edmonton. Check with the courthouse for dates and times.
The Family Centre, based in Lethbridge, is a non-profit organization providing a comprehensive range of services to children, youth and families in Southwestern Alberta.Through funding from the Alberta Law Foundation the Centre provides legal information, support and referral services.
The Edmonton Community Legal Centre (ECLC) 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; Family Law (children and guardianship, custody, child and spousal support, marriage, relationships, and property and maintenance) Small Claims; Income Support Advocacy; Human Rights; and Immigration. The Centre offers a filing fee waivers program , which reduces the fee for certain documents filed to individuals who meet eligibility requirements. The program covers documents filed with the: Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS), Provincial Court, Court of Queen's Bench, and the Alberta Court of Appeal. For more information contact ECLC at : 780-702-1725.
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 offers an Income Supports Program which will help qualified applicants with appeals for these income benefit programs: Support for Independence (SFI), Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH), Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and CPP Disability, and Old Age Security (OAS). For more information, call 780-702-1725.
Family Court Counsellors provide services, at no cost, to families who are involved in parenting disputes and are living separate and apart. The service is designed for people who are not represented by a lawyer. Services may include: Information on options and services for resolving family issues; Referrals to services and programs including mediation; Information on the effects of separation and divorce on children; Help to negotiate agreements; Assistance with court applications, arranging court dates and presenting the case in Provincial Court.
The Family Law Office (FLO) assists clients who have a family law legal problem and who have qualified for services through Legal Aid Alberta. They assist with problems relating to: Separation and divorce; Custody, access, parenting orders, contact orders; Child maintenance and spousal support; Guardianship; Child protection/child welfare; Matrimonial property disputes; Representation of children; Grandparent contact orders; Emergency Protection orders. There are offices in Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, Red Deer and Wetaskiwin.
Grande Prairie Legal Guidance (GPLG) is a non-profit joint initiative between Pro Bono Law Alberta (PBLA), The Community Village and Grande Prairie lawyers. Volunteer lawyers from the Grande Prairie community donate their professional time to meet with clients and provide legal guidance and information.
Immigrant Services Calgary is a comprehensive immigrant settlement agency. ISC provides information on housing, education, the Calgary school systems, employment, health care, documents, citizenship and immigration, accreditation and general help in adjusting to life in Canada. Services provided also include offering advice in immigration law for permanent residents and Canadian citizens.
The Law Information Centre (LInC) can help you get the information you need for civil and criminal matters. At LInC, a professional staff member will help you understand Alberta's court processes. This includes help to: learn about general court procedures; locate and explain court forms; learn about legal advice options; find out about alternatives to court. LInc can also: give you information about civil and criminal matters; explain what court forms can be used; explain the steps to take in making legal applications; refer you to legal and other resources in the community.The web page includes locations for walk-in service and a web form for submitting a question. Or you can phone: Calgary 403-476-4744; Edmonton 780-644-8217; Red Deer 403-755-1469; Grande Prairie 780-833-4234.
Lethbridge Legal Guidance is a nonprofit organization that offers free legal guidance to low income individuals who have a legal problem and do not qualify for Legal Aid.
PBSC at the University of Alberta matches law students with eligible non-profit organisations to provide pro bono legal services under the supervision of a lawyer. PBSC does not provide legal assistance to individual cases. It functions as a project of Student Legal Services of Edmonton.
Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC) is a national network of law schools and community organizations that matches law students who want to do pro bono work with public interest and non-governmental organizations, government agencies, tribunals and legal clinics during the academic year and during the summer. Over the past decade the program has expanded to include the Family Law Project, where students provide legal information to unrepresented individuals at the Provincial Family Court.
The University of Calgary, Faculty of Law's Public Interest Law Clinic will provide pro bono legal services to clients, facilitating access to justice and providing law students with experiential learning opportunities. Law students will work in the clinic on precedent-setting cases affecting Alberta's vulnerable communities and the environment, allowing them to learn public interest advocacy and litigation skills. The Clinics focus is on provide access to justice for the province's vulnerable and voiceless communities, specifically in the areas of public health, human rights, equality and environmental law," Groups seeking access to justice on an issue affecting Albertans can reach the Public Interest Law Clinic by contacting Molly Naber-Sykes at (403) 220-4814 or by email for more information
The Public Interest Law Clinic (PLIC) at the University of Calgary facilitates access to justice, supports litigation on public interest legal issues, and advocates for law reform. The Public Interest Law Clinic is a legal clinic at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law, created to advocate for systemic change that values and advances the well-being of the public and the environment. Second and third year law students who are taking the PILC clinical course (co-taught by the Executive Director and a law professor) provide services to the PILC’s clients. A practicing lawyer, who is licensed and insured by the Law Society of Alberta, supervises the clinic students.
Student Legal Services of Edmonton (SLS) is a student-managed, non-profit society dedicated to helping low-income individuals in Edmonton and area understand their legal issues and solve their legal problems. SLS focuses on four projects: Civil & Family Law (landlord/tenant matters, contracts, WCB/AISH/CPP/EI hearings, family law matters, uncontested divorces, and more); Criminal Law (SLS provides basic criminal law information and represents individuals charged with relatively minor criminal and quasi-criminal offences); Legal Education and Reform (community lectures and outreach programs, and research on poverty-related law reform issues); and Pro Bono Students of Canada (legal research for non-profit organizations).
United Cultures of Canada Association is a non-profit community based organization located in Edmonton, Alberta. It provides a variety of program and services to Edmonton's multicultual community. Their mandate is to create situations of social inclusion for immigrant communities leading to their effective participation and successful integration into Canadian society. Included in the many initiatives offered by the Association are services, programs and publications on that provide information on human rights, residential tenancies, domestic abuse, interpreting services and a free Multicultural Family Law Facilitation (Interpreting) Service. This free service is provided to ensure equal access to justice for those who are experiencing language barriers and assist service providers and newcomer communities in family law matters, UCCA provides on-site and phone legal interpreting in a number of lanaguages.
The Volunteer Lawyers Service (VLS) program is operated out of the Pro Bono Law Alberta office. VLS is a pro bono program, initiated by the United Way of Calgary and Area, the Canadian Bar Association Alberta, the Law Society of Alberta, and the Association of General Counsel of Alberta. The VLS assists eligible non-partisan charitable organizations in obtaining pro bono legal services that would otherwise be unavailable to them due to a lack of financial resources.
In Edmonton and Calgary, young persons who are charged with criminal offences are referred by the Legal Aid Society of Alberta to the Youth Criminal Defence Office (YCDO). The YCDO operates under the supervision of a Senior Counsel who is hired by and reports to the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society. The YCDO also employs a number of lawyers in Calgary and Edmonton. Social workers, youth workers and administrative staff support the lawyers.
Ecojustice is a national independent charitable organization which provides legal services free-of-charge to charities and citizens on the front lines of the environmental movement, helping ensure equitable access to environmental justice nationwide. We advocate for effective laws, use the courts to make sure they are implemented and enforced, and give a voice to Canadians in decisions that affect the air, water and land we all depend on.