Legal Resources for Urgent Matters
Our legal referral service is not well-suited to urgent matters, including criminal proceedings and commenced litigation, as there is no guaranteed timeline for a referral. Our referral service is meant to serve as an introduction to some options you may have in a legal matter and is not meant for the full resolution of a legal problem for free.
If time is of the essence, there are a few resources we recommend:
If you qualify, Nova Scotia Legal Aid is the best resource for receiving free legal services and can include advice and representation primarily for criminal law, family law and social justice matters.
The Nova Scotia Courts in Halifax and Sydney provide a free legal clinic where lawyers and law students provide some guidance through civil procedure rules and courtroom etiquette for self-represented litigants.
The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) also has a database of lawyers who offer "unbundled legal services" which are cheaper legal services which target specific activities rather than entire representation (e.g., reviewing court documents, coaching on being a self-representative etc.)
Resources for Specific Legal Matters
If you do not qualify, and your matter is criminal, Nova Scotia Legal Aid has duty counsel lawyers at the Supreme Court who offer free advice but not representation for people who have been arrested or detained. They also operate a 24 hour telephone service.
If your matter is under family law, the Summary Advise Counsel under Nova Scotia Family Law will provide free advise over the phone regardless of income, but will not provide legal represent representation.
If you have a human rights complaint, this process is handled by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and does not necessarily require a lawyer.
If you have a workers' compensation decision and are looking for further legal advice and representation, the Workers' Advisers Program (funded by the Province) may provide this for free.
The Halifax Refugee Clinic provides free legal services for refugees and can include full service for the entire refugee determination procedure or assistance in preparing various applications.