Outreach Legal Advocate

About the OLA Program

The primary goal of this program would be to ensure high quality service delivery of legal advocacy for anyone needing assistance. If we can't help you with your legal issue, we may be able to refer you to the Legal Aid office.
We may be able to assist you with completing Legal Aid applications.

We also serve the community by:

  • Providing free legal information
  • Hosting seminars and workshops for the community on legal problems and the law
  • Providing access to booklets and pamphlets about a wide range of legal problems and rights

When you come to our office for legal assistance, you will complete an intake form and be interviewed by our Outreach Legal Advocate. Depending on your legal problem, we will:

  • Give you legal information, or
  • Help you complete a Legal Aid application, or
  • Refer you to another agency that can help you

In certain circumstances, if you are physically unable to come to the Center, our Advocate may be able to come to your home. This will be assessed individually.

What can we help you with?

We can give you information on many legal problems and questions. Issues may include:


  • Disability Applications for BC Employment & Assistance
  • Housing issues, including landlords/tenants issues
  • Need assistance applying for child support or family maintenance
  • Refugee claims and immigration law
  • Employment Insurance, Workers' Compensation, welfare and pension appeals information
  • Criminal injury claims applications
  • Credit/debt information
  • Personal bankruptcy and debts
  • Criminal charges information
  • Native law information
  • Old Age Security Information
  • Mental Health Legal issues
  • Disability Legal issues

If you are not sure you have a legal problem, call our office and ask us. If your problem does not fall into one of the areas listed here, we can provide some suggestions that might help you solve your problem without a lawyer.

When should I ask for assistance?

You should seek assistance as soon as you think you have a legal problem. It is important to get help with any legal problem you having - as early as possible. For Example: If you have received an eviction notice, you have only 5 days to apply for an extension of time to pay your rent.


What should I bring with me to the Port Alberni Friendship Center?

It could be:

  • Any information relating to your issue that you think may assist
  • Any papers you have about your legal problem, such as applications, forms, etc.
  • Be prepared to provided proof of income

Where can I get Legal Aid?



You can get Legal Aid if:




  • Your problem is covered by the Legal Aid rules, and
  • You have no other way of getting legal help,
  • Your income is below the limit in the Legal Aid rules.

If your income is above the limit, you may have to help pay for your lawyer. The amount you have to pay is based on your income.

What if I can't get Legal Aid?

You can be refused Legal Aid for these reasons:


  • Your income is too high
  • You have to many assets, or
  • Legal Aid does not cover your type of problem

Not everyone with a legal problem can see a lawyer, but we might be able to help you even if your problem is not covered by the Legal Aid rules. We may refer you to an agency that could help you or we may give you some legal information. If you are refused Legal Aid, you can also appeal that decision.

How do I appeal? You contact the Area Director or the Port Alberni Friendship Center for an appeal form.
We might be able to provide some suggestions that might help you solve your problem without a lawyer.

Workshops for 2014-15 Include

March 12, 2014  Indian Residential school – Educational Credit Information
April 16, 2014 Elders Abuse – Cultural Circle Style with RCMP
May 14, 2014 Indian Residential School Sewing Project
July 22, 2014 Residential Tenancy - In partnership with TRAC
October 14, 2014  Family Law on and off Reserve - In partnership with Justice Access Center and Stephens Co.
January 23 2015 Youth and Tenancy Law
February 13 2015 Youth and Debt Law - In partnership with Royal Bank

Other Links

Pov Net
Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre 

Drop in hours

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday
9:30am - 11:30am and
1:30pm - 3:30pm

Funding provided by