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Legal Aid

Many provinces have some version of legal aid. In Newfoundland and Labrador legal aid is a program which low-income individuals with legal problems may apply to get help. Legal aid strives to provide professional legal services to individuals facing legal problems. It is by no means less than any other legal service offered in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Legal aid can be free for individuals, however, sometimes there may be a charge for some or all of the legal services you receive

What types of law does legal aid practice?

Legal aid does not cover every type of law. The focus areas of legal aid are criminal, family law, administrative law, and immigration and refugee law.

Criminal law

If you are a youth (between ages 12- 17), legal aid will cover your matter if you meet the financial requirements.

If you are an adult and are charged with an indictable offence (serious offences such as murder, theft, etc.) legal aid will cover your matter if you meet the financial requirements.

If you are charged with a summary offence (often less serious offences) legal aid will determine whether your matter will be covered, provided you meet the financial requirements. This is based on different factors, such as whether you may be convicted, lose your job if convicted, etc.

Provided your meet the financial requirements, legal aid will determine whether or not you will be covered and represented. It is their discretion, and just because your matter is an area they practice or have practiced before, does not mean your case will be covered

Family law

Legal aid usually covers disputes such as divorce, separation, and child custody and access. There are other areas of family law, such as child and spousal support, that they may cover. However, you must meet the financial requirements. As with criminal law matters, family law matters are at the discretion of legal aid as to whether or not they will be covered.

Immigration and Refugee law

If you have a hearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board legal aid may be available for you. This is at the discretion of legal aid.

Traffic tickets and administrative law

If there is a risk of you losing employment, possibly going to jail, or have another special circumstance legal aid may cover traffic tickets and driving offences.

Legal aid may also cover administrative law issues, such as labour and employment issues like grievances and employment insurance appeals, social assistance appeals, among other areas. This is at the discretion of legal aid, provided you meet the financial requirements.

How do I apply for legal aid?

To apply for legal aid you must fill out an application form found online here.

You must fill out this application in full. If not, your application may be rejected.

If you receive income support from the Department of Advanced Education and Skills you must also fill out a consent form, found online here.

You may then mail your application or drop it off in person to one of the locations below. You may also arrange an appointment with a legal aid office.

Bureaux d’aide juridique