Legal Help

Pivot’s mandate is to use the law to achieve widespread social change. Our lawyers work with low-income communities to develop strategies to address systemic problems affecting large numbers of people. We focus on bringing forward cases that will make a lasting difference in the lives of people living in poverty. Unfortunately, legal aid has been gutted in BC. For most legal issues, the service providers below will offer summary advice only, or no free assistance at all. There is very little legal help available, and free legal representation is extremely rare.


Legal aid

The Legal Services Society of BC (LSS) provides legal help to low-income people who meet certain criteria. If you don't qualify for representation by a legal aid lawyer, you may still be able to get some legal help through LSS.

To apply or to find the office nearest you contact:

Tel: 604-408-2172 (Lower Mainland)

Tel: 1-866-577-2525 (No charge outside the Lower Mainland)

Website: legalaid.bc.ca

If you do not qualify for legal aid and cannot afford or do not want to hire a lawyer, there are other places you can go to get some legal advice or to find an advocate who can help you navigate the legal system.

Legal advice

Access Pro Bono has over 75 summary legal advice clinics throughout the province. For more information about Access Pro Bono and the programs it offers, or to find a summary legal advice clinic in your area, go to: www.accessprobono.ca or call: 604-878-7400 (Vancouver) or 1-877-762-6664 (outside of Vancouver)

The Law Students' Legal Advice Program (LSLAP) offers free legal advice to people in the Lower Mainland who cannot afford a lawyer. LSLAP clinics are run by law students from the University of British Columbia who are supervised by practicing lawyers. Appointment Booking & Program Inquiries: 604-822-5791 Website: www.lslap.bc.ca

The Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS) may be able to help with human rights claims, judicial reviews, mental health cases, social assistance, welfare, Canada Pension Plan, and Worksafe BC issues. Call 604-685-3425.

St. Paul's Advocacy offers advice on a number of issues. Their office is at 1130 Jervis Street and is open Monday and Wednesday from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, and Thursday from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm. Call 604-683-4287.

The BC Human Rights Coalition may be able to help with human rights concerns and complaints. Call them at 604-689-8474 or 1-877-689-8474. Collect calls are accepted.

MOSAIC's legal advocacy program can assist temporary foreign workers and offer advice on immigration and refugee law. Visit their office from Tuesday to Friday from 9:00 to 4:30 pm or call 604-254-9626.

Aboriginal clients can get help with many legal issues at the UBC Indigenous Community Legal Clinic at 101 - 148 Alexander Street. Call 604-684-7334.

Trans* clients can receive summary advice from the Catherine White Holman Wellness Center. Book by email: lawyer [at] cwhwc.com. 

Clicklaw is an online legal information and education site that includes information about family law, immigration law, personal injury law, employment law, consumer law and much more. Clicklaw also provides online access to court forms and information about legal resources across BC. Website: www.clicklaw.bc.ca

Inform Vancouver is a phone line that provides community information to people in the Lower Mainland. To find an advocate in the Vancouver area contact Inform Vancouver at 604-875-6381 For deaf and hard of hearing callers: 604-875-0885 or by text at 604-836-6381 Collect calls are accepted.

Housing issues

First United Church provides housing and poverty law advocacy. Call (604) 681-8365 or drop in to their offices at 320 East Hastings Street. Sign up for an appointment on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9-11 am, and Tuesday and Thursday from 12:30 - 2:30 pm.

TRAC Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre provides free legal information about residential tenancy law in BC. Find out more at www.tenants.bc.ca or call the tenant hotline: Vancouver Area 604.255.0546 Outside the Lower Mainland 1.800.665.1185

If you have a dispute with your landlord or need more information about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant you can contact the Residential Tenancy Branch by phone (604) 660-1020 or 1 800 665 8779 or at www.rto.gov.bc.ca

Make a police complaint

If you want to make a complaint about a police officer in British Columbia contact the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner by visiting www.opcc.bc.ca or by phone: (250) 356-7458 or Toll Free: 1-877-999-8707

If you need information about your rights when dealing with a private security guard or want to make a complaint against a private security guard check out www.securityandyou.ca for more information.

You can also read our How to Sue the Police manual.

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Pivot Legal Clinics

As of March 11, 2014 our clinic operating out of the Lifeskills Community Centre has been placed on hold and is not operational. We are working with community partners and legal organizations to create an alternative clinic in the DTES which will serve the general public. Pivot hosts a legal advice clinic on Mondays from 1-4pm at the Atira Women's Resource Society for women-identified people only.

In the meantime we are referring clients to the First United Church for general advocacy assistance. 

We do not see walk-in clients or offer appointments at our office.

 

Atira Women's Resource Society

101 East Cordova
By appointment only.
Please call (604) 331-1407
This clinic is for women-identified people only.

Jane Doe Legal Network

If you are a woman who has experienced violence and need legal help, the Jane Doe Legal Network may be able to provide you with confidential legal advice. Contact Shahnaz Rahman at West Coast LEAF for more information: 604-684-8772, Ext. 123.