The Nova Scotia Courts currently offer free legal clinics in Halifax, Truro, Sydney and Yarmouth. These clinics offer private one-hour sessions, by appointment, with a volunteer practicing lawyer. Only people representing themselves in court on certain types of cases in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia or the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal are eligible.
Established in 2015, the free legal clinics address a gap in services for people who need assistance with their civil law matters and family law appeals, excluding child protection. Nova Scotia Legal Aid provides duty counsel services at most courthouses to help self-represented individuals with criminal and family law matters.
What can the volunteer lawyers at the clinic do for me?
The volunteer lawyers at the free legal clinic CAN:
- Provide you with general information on the Civil Procedure Rules and courtroom etiquette;
- Assist with identifying which court forms you need to complete and how to fill them out;
- Coach you to be able to identify legal issues, as well as strengths and weaknesses in your case; and
- Provide basic legal advice based on the information that you provide.
Depending on your situation, lawyers at the free legal clinic can sometimes help with drafting court forms or other documents.
Lawyers at the free legal clinic CANNOT:
- Commission or notarize documents for you;
- Assist with legal problems that are unrelated to services that the free legal clinic offers;
- Serve or accept service of court documents for you;
- Predict decisions that judges will make; or
- Take responsibility for the information in any court forms or documents that you prepare.
These free legal clinics at the courthouses are not walk-in clinics. Applications must be filled out and appointments made in advance. Priority will be given to those whose scheduled court appearances are imminent.
PLEASE NOTE: The location, contact information and schedules are different for each free legal clinic. Click on the brochures below to access specific information for each location.