Common QuestionsI'm doing my own legal research as a self-represented litigant
Am I a "self-represented litigant (SRL)"? Yes, if you do not have a lawyer and have to represent yourself. This means you have to: prepare your case and do your own legal research, learn about the court system, learn what documents to file, find the specific laws that apply to your case, and so on.
If you cannot afford a lawyer, check the HelpMap for organizations that can provide you with legal information, advice, and/or referrals to other services in your community.
The National SRL Support Network (NSSN) offers social support and sharing of legal resources in a confidential setting. It has a BC branch that meets periodically in Vancouver. Follow their Facebook and Twitter for updates.
Good starting points are:
- Beginner's Guide to Finding Legal Research, from Courthouse Libraries BC, explains how to find legal information in British Columbia. It also provides links to many more self-help resources and guides. This guide is a starting point and is not meant to be exhaustive. It explains the law and legal procedures in general, and is not intended to give legal advice on your particular legal problem.
- The CanLII Primer: Legal Research Principles and CanLII Navigation for Self-Represented Litigants, from the National Self-Represented Litigants Project, is designed to help SRLs navigate CanLII to prepare for the presentation of their cases - in court, chambers, or as part of a negotiation or mediation. The primer also gives a brief overview of the Canadian legal system. CanLII (canlii.org) is a free legal service that can be accessed by anyone on the web. It contains federal and provincial case law, legislation, and more.
- If you are specifically looking for a case from the BC Provincial Court, check out Searching CanLII from the Provincial Court of BC Website
- How can I research other family law cases?, from Legal Services Society, explains how to research family law cases using CanLII.
- Court rules, forms and self-help guides to court procedures is a flowchart that helps you find the court rules, forms and self-help guides you may need when going to court.
- What's the difference between civil, family, and criminal law?
- How do I know which court to go to?
- I may have to go to BC Supreme Court. Where do I start?
- I'm trying to prepare a Supreme Court case
- I need to take someone to small claims court
- I'm being sued in small claims court
- I've been charged with a crime. How do I defend myself?
See our related common questions:
- See all common questions about alternatives to court
- See all common questions about courts & tribunals
- See all common questions about family law
- See all common questions about legal help & lawyers
- self-represented litigants, SRL, SRLs, defending yourself, representing yourself, legal research, legal resources, case law, presenting your case in court
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Use the Clicklaw HelpMap to find someone in your community who can help with legal problems.