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Who we are and what we do
Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS) is a non-profit law firm operating out of Vancouver and serving all of British Columbia. CLAS was established in 1971 and was the first community law office in BC.
CLAS provides legal information, advice and representation to low-income and modest-income people who are facing the following legal issues:
- People who are losing their housing
- People who have a human rights complaint
- People who are having issues receiving government benefits
- People who have a Review Board hearing under the Mental Health Act, or have an upcoming Criminal Code Review Board hearing
- People who have work-related legal issue
Our programs also offer public education through workshops and education sessions. Learn more about our programs.
Our structure reflects almost 50 years of partnership between the private bar and community groups to provide legal aid to marginalized people in British Columbia. Since our inception, we have become a nationally recognized non-profit law firm, specializing in housing, income security, workers’ rights, mental health and human rights law.
CLAS is an established “umbrella” organization consisting of a number of programs and projects. Every year we assist thousands of people through our service case work and conduct hundreds of test and systemic cases at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada.
We have been counsel on hundreds of reported decisions in the areas of law in which we practice. Learn about some of our cases.
Our Mission and Vision
CLAS respects the dignity of all in our community and works towards positive social change by providing legal assistance and advancing the law to address the critical needs of those who are disadvantaged or face discrimination.
We envision a society where there is dignity equality and justice for all.