The 1977 Legal Aid Act, (1989) R.S.N.S., c. 252 created the Nova Scotia Legal Aid Commission and made it responsible for Legal Aid in the Province. The Nova Scotia Legal Aid Commission delivers legal aid via a network of 16 community-based law offices as well as 3 sub-offices. The offices are staffed by salaried lawyers and, in certain situations, supplemented by lawyers in private practice on a fee-for-service basis.
The Nova Scotia Legal Aid Commission is provided a grant from the Province of Nova Scotia under the Department of Justice (Attorney General). There is an agreement respecting Legal Aid in Criminal Law and Youth Criminal Justice Act matters which provides for a federal contribution to the cost of adult criminal and young offender legal aid in the Province and imposes obligations on the Province to provide certain levels of service.
The Commission has 17 Directors, 2 of whom are non-voting members selected from the public service. All other Directors are appointed by the Provincial Governor-in-Council; 8 are nominated by the Minister of Justice (Attorney General) and 7 are nominated by the Council of Nova Scotia Barristers' Society. One of the Directors is named as Chair. The Directors need not all be lawyers; they represent all geographical areas of the Province, serve three-year terms and may be reappointed.
To locate the Legal Aid Office nearest you, please refer to the “Contact Us” page on this website.