Our vision is client-focused legal aid that ensures access to justice for all. Every year, Legal Aid BC helps tens of thousands of British Columbians. We help them with serious family problems, child protection matters, immigration matters, and criminal issues. Here are some numbers that illustrate what we do.
All of the following numbers are for fiscal year 2019/20.
Thousands of people apply for legal aid every year. To qualify, applicants must have a low income and their legal issue must be covered by our policies. Lawyers are contracted by Legal Aid BC to do legal aid work on behalf of eligible clients.
71% of child protection applications are approved. Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, you may have a right to a lawyer if your children might be taken away by the government.
83% of criminal applications are approved. If you are charged with a crime and are at risk of going to jail, under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms you may have a right to have a lawyer represent you in court.
Only 54% of family law applicants are approved for a lawyer to represent them. There is a high demand for family law services, but we have limited funding for them. To ensure a balanced budget, Legal Aid BC has to limit representation services to situations where safety is at risk or there’s a persistent denial of access to children.
78% of immigration applicants receive a lawyer to help them apply for refugee status or to face an immigration proceeding that could result in removal from Canada.
6% of BC’s population is Indigenous.
And represent just over 26% of the legal aid clients who receive a lawyer to represent them.
Funding in 2019/20 was almost $106 million.
Most of our funding comes from the BC government. We also receive generous funding from the Law Foundation and Notary Foundation.
We are accountable for public funds and are required by government to have a balanced budget.
Close to 968 lawyers in private practice take legal aid work.
Lawyers represented over 23,730 legal aid clients and provided over 107,513 legal advice services.
Legal Information Outreach Workers interacted
with clients 4,495 times.
The Aboriginal Community Legal Worker working in Nanaimo/Duncan interacted with clients 197 times.
Legal Aid BC is the largest producer of public legal information in BC.
As the numbers demonstrate, our websites and publications about the law are very popular.
Family Law in BC website
Legal Aid BC website
Aboriginal Legal Aid in BC website