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Increased BC services aim to make it easier to get legal help without getting a lawyer

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The provincial government is making some changes to the legal system in an effort to improve access by offering more services for people without a lawyer.

During last month’s Dial-A-Lawyer day, most callers were looking for free family law advice.

So, it is no surprise that part of the government’s $2-million funding is being put into expanding the Family LawLINE, which people can call for help.

Dean Crawford, president of the Canadian Bar Association‘s BC Branch, says extra hours will be offered on evenings and weekends, as that is the only time some people have to chat with a lawyer.

“People with family law problems can call family law lawyers and obtain legal advice over the phone to try and help them resolve their issues or go to the right place. And this funding will allow for a higher level of advice, greater hours, and continuity of service.”

“It may also be that with five or ten minutes on the phone or maybe 15 minutes with a lawyer for Family LawLINE, the matter gets resolved without having to retain counsel so it is that type of service,” he adds.

The government will spend the rest of the $2 million on plans for a Parents’ Legal Centre for child protection cases and expanded duty counsel and family legal advice at the Victoria Justice Access Centre.