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Indigenous Community Legal Clinic


The Indigenous Community Legal Clinic (ICLC) is an educational legal clinic of the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia that provides legal services to the Indigenous community in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, and throughout the Lower Mainland.

The ICLC may be able to provide advice, assistance and representation to eligible clients who cannot afford a lawyer and who self-identify as Indigenous persons.

As an educational legal clinic, the ICLC provides Allard School of Law students, who are temporary articled students under the Law Society of British Columbia, with experience-based clinical legal education in community lawyering. Students are trained and supervised in the conduct of legal matters by the Legal Services Director, Mark Gervin, and also complete an academic course in tandem with their clinical experience, which is taught by the Academic Director, Patricia Barkaskas. Students have the opportunity to meet with and learn from other members of the legal profession and community, including judges, lawyers, and community advocates and service providers.


The Indigenous Community Legal Clinic provides free legal representation for those persons who qualify for legal assistance and have a legal issue that falls under the jurisdiction of the British Columbia provincial courts. Examples of cases dealt with at the ICLC include, but are not limited to:

  • criminal matters
  • family law matters
  • human rights complaints
  • civil disputes in small claims court
  • wills and estates
  • hearings before administrative tribunals dealing with matters such as: employment insurance; welfare; landlord and tenant dispute; and Canada Pension Plan
  • Indian Status applications
  • Aboriginal legal issues
  • limited assistance with some divorce cases


In some cases the ICLC may be able to assist with divorce proceedings in limited and specific circumstances. The ICLC may be able to assist with divorce proceedings if a person is financially eligible and has either successfully applied for an exemption through the Supreme Court from paying the necessary disbursements (that is, fees payable to the Court Registry) or who is able to pay their own disbursements. The ICLC may be able to offer limited services for those seeking a divorce who have "simple, uncontested" divorces based on grounds of separation or adultery to obtain a divorce. The ICLC may only assist in cases where all matters relating to custody, access, maintenance and division of property are settled. The ICLC may also be able to assist with some legal research for those who have Divorce proceedings that deal with matrimonial property on reserve.


Legal services provided by the ICLC are provided to those persons who qualify financially for legal assistance, if at the time of application the ICLC has the resources needed to assist the client.

Clients may be asked in confidence to provide the ICLC with information about their income and assets to determine whether the client is eligible.


The Indigenous Community Legal Clinic is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Student clinicians are available to assist clients Monday-Wednesday each week.

Please note that at the beginning of each semester, for approximately the first three weeks of each semester, the ICLC will only be able to provide limited services on client matters through this period, which is the new student clinicians’ Orientation.