There are a number of organizations in British Columbia that provide legal information, services and advice to the public and the legal profession. The following organizations each maintain a website that provides information about the organization and its purpose along with other information that may be of assistance to you.
Access Pro Bono
Access Pro Bono was incorporated in February 2010 to carry on the work of the Western Canada Society to Access Justice and Pro Bono Law of British Columbia, which formally merged as of April 1, 2010. Their mission is to promote access to justice in British Columbia by providing and fostering quality pro bono legal services for people and non-profit organizations of limited means.
BC Courthouse Library Society
The BC Courthouse Library Society is a non-profit organization providing legal information services to the legal community and the public of British Columbia.
BC Justice Review Task Force
The Justice Review Task Force was established on the initiative of the Law Society of British Columbia, in March 2002. The objective of the Task Force is to identify a wide range of reform ideas and initiatives that may help make the justice system more responsive, accessible and cost-effective. To this end, the Task Force provides a forum for its participants to exchange information, engage in mutual consultation respecting proposed administrative, procedural or program changes, and coordinate initiatives where appropriate.
BC Supreme Court Civil and Family Rules
A comprehensive website about the new BC Supreme Court civil and family rules is available on the Ministry of Attorney General website.
BC Supreme Court Self-Help Information Centre
The BC Supreme Court Self-Help Information Centre is located in the Provincial Court building in downtown Vancouver, the centre contains extensive resources to help people who have a Supreme Court family or civil matter but don’t have a lawyer to represent them.
Clicklaw, operated by the Courthouse Libraries BC, is a website aimed at enhancing access to justice in British Columbia. It features legal information and education, but it is not a site of laws. Instead, Clicklaw features legal information and education designed for the public from 24 contributor organizations, as well as selected others. View Clicklaw Charades.
The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia
The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia is a provider of continuing professional legal education to the legal community in British Columbia, with ongoing operations self-financed through the sale of books, courses, and electronic products.
If you are a person with a low income experiencing a family law issue, you may be eligible for free legal advice over the telephone from a family lawyer. To be considered for this service, call the Legal Services Society province-wide Call Centre at 604.408.2172 (Greater Vancouver) or 1.866.577.2525 (call no charge, elsewhere in British Columbia) between 9:30 am and 12:00 pm on weekdays.
Juricert provides registration services which validate the online identity and professional credentials of the registrant and create a digital identifier that can be used to validate online identity for the Land Title and Survey Authority's Electronic Filing System, the Law Society of British Columbia's Trust Reports Online and the Nidus eRegistry.
JusticeBC is a new BC Government web-based gateway for British Columbians who want information about the criminal justice system and resources.
The Justice Education Society
Established in 1989 as the Law Courts Education Society, the Justice Education Society is dedicated to improving access to the justice system through hands-on, targeted, two-way education between the public and those working in the system. This commitment is embodied in our tagline, “Justice through Knowledge.”
The Law Foundation of British Columbia
British Columbia led the way in 1969 when it established the first Law Foundation in North America. Since then, almost every other jurisdiction in North America has followed British Columbia's lead and established a Law Foundation. The Law Foundation of British Columbia is a non-profit foundation created by legislation to receive and distribute the interest on clients' funds held in lawyers' pooled trust accounts maintained in financial institutions.
The Law Society of British Columbia
The Law Society of British Columbia is the self-governing body for lawyers in British Columbia. The primary responsibility of the Law Society under the provincial Legal Profession Act is to protect the public interest in the administration of justice. In fulfilling this responsibility the Law Society investigates complaints about lawyers where the lawyer may have breached the ethical and competence standards established by the Law Society. The Law Society also provides a wide variety of resources to lawyers in order to assist them in maintaining the high standards of ethical conduct and professional competence required by the Law Society. If you have a concern or complaint about a lawyer or wish to find out more about the legal profession in British Columbia, visit www.lawsociety.bc.ca. For information on becoming a lawyer in British Columbia, please contact the Law Society of British Columbia.
The Legal Services Society
The Legal Services Society (LSS) provides legal aid for people with low incomes in British Columbia. LSS services range from legal information and advice to legal representation. Created by the Legal Services Society Act in 1979, it is an independent, non-profit organization managed by a nine-member board of directors. The Society's mission is to provide innovative and collaborative legal aid services that enable people with low incomes to effectively address their issues within the justice system.
Mediate BC specializes in mediation and provides a wide variety of dispute resolution tools and processes. Mediate BC offers mediation information, services and programs for individuals, families and organizations, and supports mediators and other dispute resolution professionals with training, professional development and resources.
The Public Commission on Legal Aid of British Columbia
The Public Commission on Legal Aid was established in June of 2010 to engage the public of British Columbia in order to determine their priorities regarding legal aid in the province of British Columbia.
The University of British Columbia
The Law Library is part of the UBC Library System, and is located on three floors in the Faculty of Law complex. It supports the study, reference, and research needs of the students and faculty of the Faculty of Law, and other members of the university community. As well, any person may use library resources for study and research in the library. The Law Library has a research collection of approximately 215,000 volumes.
The University of Victoria
The University of Victoria Diana M Priestly Law Library has a well chosen collection of over 170,000 books and over 250,000 microform items, federal and provincial parliamentary and legislative materials, as well access to online, cdrom and internet services in its computer lab. Typescripts of reasons of the British Columbia Court of Appeal (from 1974) and the Supreme Court of British Columbia (from 1971) and the County Court (from 1977-1990) are housed in the library.