Our office is physically closed and all in-person services, including Drop-In Clinics, will be suspended until further notice to reduce health risks related to COVID-19. The safety of our clients, staff, and students is our priority. We apologize for the impact of the closure and reduced services.
We are offering an alternative to in-person service. We will respond to email and phone call inquiries. We will provide guidance on process, legal information, summary legal advice or referrals to other agencies. Due to our current limited resources, we may not be able to offer information or summary advice in certain areas of law. In those situations, we will try our best to provide referrals to more appropriate resources.
The Drop-in Clinic is the first step to getting help at LHC. When you come to the clinic, you can expect to meet with informed and respectful students who will listen to you describe your legal problem. They will help you find answers and will explain the options available to you.
“Thanks again for all your help in resolving this, you played a crucial role in getting organized and prepared.”
Drop-In takes place every Tuesday and Thursday from 1pm – 4:30pm. We suggest arriving as close to 1pm as possible. Generally, we do not accept clients after 3:30 to make sure that all interviews are finished by 4:30pm.
When you arrive, you will be asked to fill out an intake form. We are required to obtain certain information about clients, including things like their name and place of employment, but we also ask for details about the legal issue you need help with and the other people involved. This form must be completed in order to meet with a student. We can help you fill out the forms, if necessary.
Conflicts of Interest:
All lawyers must avoid helping both sides of a disagreement. We will complete a conflict check in order to ensure that we have not already helped another person involved in your matter. If we have, then a conflict does exist, which means we will not be able to help you on that same matter. But we will do our best to refer you somewhere else.
First Come, First Served:
Drop-In is run on a “first come, first served” basis. Generally, if you arrive later, you can expect to wait longer before being seen. There are rare exceptions to this. For example, if we identify a conflict, we will try to let that person know as soon as possible so that they do not wait only to be told that we cannot assist.
Meeting with a Student:
You will meet with a law student to discuss your matter, not a lawyer. The students work under the supervision of staff and volunteer lawyers. The information you receive will be approved by one of those lawyers. We also have students from a variety of other faculties, such as social work, who may sit in during the interview to help with other (non-legal) problems.
Limits to our Service:
To get help, you must sign a Terms of Service document which outlines what LHC can and cannot do and your responsibilities while attending Drop-In.
How Long it will Take:
How long the total process will take depends on how busy the clinic is and the complexity of your matter. Generally, from the time you first meet with the law student, until the time you are finished, is about 45 minutes.
Find out if you qualify for services from Legal Aid Manitoba. LHC is not an alternative to Legal Aid. If you are eligible for Legal Aid to help you with your issue, you may not qualify for LHC services. If you qualify, Legal Aid will arrange for a lawyer to work on your behalf. If we determine it is likely that you will qualify, we will refer you to them anyways. Information on the types of cases covered by Legal Aid, as well as their financial criteria can be found here:
LHC helps people who’s family income meets our financial eligibility guideline and if you do not already have a lawyer for the problem you are coming to LHC for help with. Before coming to drop-in, you should figure out how much each of the people who are in your family unit make, and refer to the eligibility guideline to be sure we are able to help you.
If you have any documents that you think are important to your issue, it is a good idea to collect them and bring them with you to the drop-in clinic. The documents may help the students and lawyers to provide information to you. Examples of useful papers are: court documents, signed agreements/contracts, last 3 years of tax returns)
Make some notes:
Often the issues you are dealing with can feel overwhelming. Sometimes, it is helpful to write down a timeline of what has happened, as well as the important questions that you want answered.
Consider bringing someone to support you:
Having someone with you during drop-in can help you through difficult situations by providing emotional support or for practical reasons such as helping translate if English is not your primary language.
The Family Law Clinic helps people with problems caused by a family breakdown. Common issues include separation and/or divorce, parenting time and decision-making responsibility with respect to children, support payments, and other forms of legal rights such as guardianships and grandparent access. The amount of help we can offer depends on the situation, but generally includes understanding the family court process and what steps you need to take, drafting documents for Court, writing letters to opposing parties or their lawyers, and giving ongoing support and information. Matters can only be referred to the Family Law Clinic after you have attended Drop-In, your file has been reviewed and we have determined that we are able to help further.
“My heartfelt gratitude to Legal Help Centre for helping me through the process of variation of my child support. Continue to help an individual who has a small income.”
After you attend Drop-In, it will be determined whether your case qualifies you for an appointment so that you can get more help during the Family Law Clinic.
Family Law Clinics take place on other days of the week and if you are referred, you will get a specific appointment time to come back to LHC for more help.
We may tell you to bring other documents to your Family Law Clinic appointment so that we can properly help you. Please make sure that you bring these requested documents to your scheduled Clinic appointment.
The Consumer Protection Clinic helps people in many areas of the law. Common issues include small claims, estates, employment, debt collection, and auto insurance. The amount of help we can offer depends on the situation, but generally includes drafting documents for Court, writing letters to opposing parties or their lawyers, and giving ongoing support and information. Matters can only be referred to the Consumer Protection Clinic after you have attended Drop-In, your file has been reviewed and we have determined that we are able to help further.
“Thank you so much for the thought, care and effort you’ve put into this. Your work and that of the Centre itself are invaluable!”
After you attend Drop-In, it will be determined whether your case qualifies you for an appointment so that you can get more help during the Consumer Protection Clinic.
The Consumer Protection Clinic takes place on other days of the week and if you are referred, you will get a specific appointment time to come back to LHC for more help.
We may tell you to bring other documents to your Consumer Protection Clinic appointment so that we can properly help you. Please make sure that you bring these requested documents to your scheduled Clinic appointment.