Lawyers are like doctors – they are rarely called for pleasant events.
But both Dial-A-Law and the Lawyer Referral Service, run by the B.C. Branch of the Canadian Bar Association and funded by the Law Foundation of B.C., are geared to help people with little knowledge of the intricate workings of the legal system. As much as possible, they take the law out of the “ivory tower” and provide clear legal information.
Dial-A-Law is a free service with information on British Columbia and federal laws. You can get information on a wide variety of legal topics, explained in clear, easy-to- understand language. Access Dial-A-law by phone (it’s automated) and on the web to hear or read scripts prepared by lawyers. Each script explains an area of law, including the following: Financial Help for People with Disabilities, Outstanding Warrants and Elder Law, Senior’s Rights and Abuse. Dial-A-Law is a great place to go for questions like:
• Were they allowed to fire me because I got sick?
• Can I do anything about my neighbour’s noisy dog?
• What are my rights if my husband leaves and takes the kids?
• What happens if I can’t pay my credit card bill?
Call 604-687-4680 in the Lower Mainland, or toll free 1-800-565-5297 elsewhere in B.C.
On the web, go to www.dialalaw.org.
Lawyer Referral Service
If you think you need a lawyer, call Lawyer Referral Service and explain your problem. The service will match you with a lawyer in your area who specializes in legal issues like yours. It costs $25 plus taxes to meet with the lawyer for a half hour to explain your situation. After a half hour, if you want to continue working with that lawyer, you will pay the lawyer’s normal rates, or negotiate a different one. This is a great way to meet with a lawyer, without the fear of huge legal fees, to see if you actually need a lawyer.
Call 604-687-3221 in the Lower Mainland, or toll free 1-800-663.1919 elsewhere in B.C.