Pro Bono Québec can offer you free legal services1 if you meet the following criteria :
1. YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR LEGAL AID.
Legal aid is a service offered by the Government of Quebec that allows low-income individuals to receive services of a lawyer free of charge or at low cost, depending on their financial situation.
Section 69 of the Act respecting legal aid and the provision of certain other legal services
Note that if section 69 of the Act respecting legal aid and the provision of certain other legal services applies to your situation, you cannot receive services from Pro Bono Québec2.
2. YOU ARE UNABLE TO PAY FOR THE SERVICES OF A LAWYER
Our approval committee evaluates your ability to pay for the services of lawyer by examining your financial situation and the type of legal services you need.
The committee bases its evaluation on the information you provide in your Application for pro bono legal services. We may also ask for additional information and documents in support of your application.
3. ONLY FOR PUBLIC INTEREST CASES - YOUR CASE MUST SATISFY AT LEAST ONE (1) OF THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:
- Be a case that is of public interest, not a purely private matter.
- Be a case where irreparable harm could be suffered
For example: a case seeking compensation for permanent injury.
- Be an exceptional case
At its discretion, Pro Bono Québec may accept exceptional cases that raise novel issues, even if they do not satisfy the two criteria above.
To make an application for a public interest case, please complete our Application for pro bono legal services form.
To make an application for a family matters case, please complete our Application for pro bono legal services form - family matters. To make an application for our service for refugees, please complete our Application for pro bono legal services forme - for refugees.
Pro Bono Québec receives applications for pro bono legal services from every region of Quebec involving many different branches of law.
Applications received are reviewed by our approval committee, made up of about fifteen lawyers from various backgrounds practising in a variety of fields.
A member of Pro Bono Québec will be in contact with you to inform you of the decision. If your application is accepted, Pro Bono will make every effort to find a lawyer or firm that can offer you free legal services suitable for your needs3.
1 Although the legal services are free of charge, the disbursements incurred in connection with a case are borne entirely by the client (service, transcription, discoveries, appearances, etc.) You may ask the lawyer we assign to you for an estimate of such disbursements.
2 Section 69 of the Act respecting legal aid and the provision of certain other legal services provides that legal aid will be refused if the person can find a lawyer in private practice who agrees to act and an agreement is reached for the lawyer’s fees (often on a percentage basis).
If the person wins his or her case, he or she pays the fees agreed on with the lawyer in accordance with the agreement. If the person loses his or her case or recovers only a minimal amount, legal aid may pay the lawyer in accordance with legal aid tariffs if the person continues to be financially eligible.
3 The availability of lawyers and firms may vary depending on the nature of your file and/or your place of residence. Thus, it is possible that Pro Bono Québec is unable to respond to your application.
The services offered by Pro Bono Québec cover only extrajudicial fees, i.e., to cover the time your lawyer spends on defending the case. All other costs are borne by the individual.
When you are a party to a legal proceeding, the costs relating to your case consist of judicial costs and extrajudicial costs.
1. Judicial costs (also referred to as costs)
Judicial costs may be divided into fees and disbursements. The judge decides in his or her final judgment who should pay the judicial costs (usually, the party who loses the case).
2. Extrajudicial costs
Extrajudicial costs are also divided into fees and disbursements.