Qualifying for Legal Aid
Nova Scotia Legal Aid is “here to help” all Nova Scotians. We can help with family, criminal and social justice (income benefits and housing security) legal issues.
NS Legal Aid gives legal information or advice to anyone. If you qualify, you may get a lawyer for your case if you need one.
To find out if you qualify for a lawyer you must fill out the application form. Qualification is based on your income and expenses as well as merit of your case. Your financial information is kept confidential. If you go over our financial guideline table by more than 50% you may still qualify, but may have to pay for part of the cost of your lawyer.
Qualification for a lawyer is a three-part test:
- Do you meet our financial guidelines?
- Do we provide representation in that area of law?
- Is there legal merit? (This means that your legal issue has a reasonable chance of success before a court or hearing board)
You will financially qualify for legal aid if you qualify for Income Assistance, or are in an equivalent position, or if paying for a lawyer yourself would put you at an Income Assistance level.
In some cases, you may get legal aid if you can’t hire a lawyer without suffering serious financial hardship, or having to sell off necessary modest assets.
A Contribution Agreement may be considered if you are over the financial guidelines by more than 50%. If you do not qualify for a lawyer for your case, we will still help you by giving information or advice.