Getting legal help

Certificate program

If you are eligible and face a serious legal matter, you can apply for a free legal aid certificate through our certificate program. A legal aid certificate is a voucher guaranteeing that the private practice lawyer who accepts your case will get paid for providing you with full representation for a certain number of hours.

If you have an income or own property, you may qualify for a certificate with a contribution agreement. This means you will be required to repay LAO some or all of your legal fees.

Who can get a legal aid certificate?

To find out if you’re eligible for a certificate, your legal problem has to be one that is covered by LAO. You will also need to take a financial test to see if your gross income from all sources is within the range of this chart:

Family size

Will likely qualify financially for a certificate if annual gross family income falls below:

A contribution agreement might be required if annual gross income is within these ranges:

One adult


$10,800 - $12,500

Two adults or one adult and one child


$18,684 - $22,500

Two adults and one child or one adult and two children


$21,299 - $26,220

Two adults and two children or one adult and three children


$24,067 - $30,120

Two adults and three or more children or one adult and four or more children


$26,714 - $33,960

Single boarders
(paying and non-paying)


$7,101 - $8,200

What happens if you’re not eligible for the certificate program?

If you are not eligible for LAO’s certificate program, there are other services available. Learn more about community legal clinics, duty counsel, our toll-free number, and family law services.

It is possible, in some cases, to appeal LAO’s decision relating to eligibility for the certificate program. Learn more about making an appeal or complaint.

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