Topic outline

  • Welcome to the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta’s (CPLEA) Legal Information and Advice self-directed course. The purpose of this course is to help you differentiate between giving legal information and legal advice.

    This course consists of three short modules and will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

  • Introduction

    You may be a housing support worker, intake worker, employment skills worker, family program worker, librarian, counsellor, or any number of professionals working with clients experiencing legal issues. In any case, your client comes to you and tells you their story.

    They might be facing eviction from their home, have recently separated from their partner or spouse, are unable to pay their bills, lost their job, need help accessing social assistance, or have court documents with them. These are everyday legal problems. Each issue refers to a different area of law, each with its own rights, processes and remedies. But rarely can life be sorted into neat buckets. Your client’s issues may be all connected. And some may be legal while others are not.

    As summarized by the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, “An everyday legal problem is a problem arising out of the normal activities of people’s daily lives that has a legal aspect and has a potential legal solution. The problem is justiciable and could be resolved within the formal legal system, although it may be more sensibly dealt with in other ways.” [SOURCE: Everyday Legal Problems and the Cost of Justice in Canada: Overview Report by The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice]

    So how can you help?

  • Module 1 - Limits in helping clients

    The goal of this module is for you to understand the limits in helping clients with their legal issues, as well as what can happen when you provide unauthorized legal advice.  

  • Module 2 - Legal Information vs Advice

    The goal of this module is for you to understand the differences between legal information and advice.   

  • Module 3 - Helping clients with forms

    The goal of this module is for you to understand potential issues in helping clients with forms.