A Study on Legal Aid and Official Languages in Canada

APPENDIX E - INTERVIEW GUIDE CLIENTS OF LEGAL AID SERVICES
(not used - replaced by survey in Appendix F)

CLIENTS OF LEGAL AID SERVICES

  1. Is French (English) your mother tongue? Do you normally use French (English) at home?
  2. When you first needed legal aid services, what did you do - did you phone a special legal aid number or did you go to a Legal Aid office or clinic?
  3. (If you went to an office or clinic) in what language did the receptionist discuss legal aid services with you? Was it the language of your choice? If no, did you ask for someone to speak with you in French (English)? If yes, did you then have someone speak with you in your language? If not, were you given any reason?
  4. (If you phoned a 1-800 number or other special legal aid line) how did you know about it? Were you given this information in French (English)? When you made the phone call, did someone speak to you in French (English)? If no, did you ask for someone to speak with you in your language? If yes, did you then have someone speak with you in your language? If not, were you given any reason?
  5. Do you feel comfortable asking for services in your language if they are not offered to you first? If no, please explain.

QUESTIONS 4a TO 4c APPLY ONLY TO CRIMINAL MATTERS

  • 4a. When you were arrested, did you have your own lawyer or did you need a lawyer from legal aid? If you needed a legal aid lawyer, were you able to get one who spoke French (English)? If yes, what did you do to get a lawyer that spoke French (English)? If no, why not? Do you think it is important that the lawyer who gives you advice when you are just arrested speaks to you in the language of your choice? Please explain your answer.
  • 4b. When you went to court for your first appearance, did you have your own lawyer? If not, was there a lawyer available who could talk to you in French (English)? Did you ask for a lawyer who could speak French (English)? If yes, did you then get one? Do you think it is important that the lawyer who is on duty at the court speaks to you in the language of your choice? Please explain your answer.
  • 4c. When you asked legal aid for a lawyer to represent you at your trial, were you given a lawyer who could speak French (English)? Did you ask for a lawyer who could speak French (English)? Did legal aid then give you a lawyer who could speak French (English)? If no, why not? Do you think it is important that the lawyer who represents you at your trial speaks to you in the language of your choice? Please explain your answer.

QUESTIONS 5a AND 5b APPLY ONLY TO FAMILY LAW MATTERS

(not available in all jurisdictions)

  • 5a. When you needed help with your family law case, was the lawyer on duty able to speak to you in your language? Did you ask for a lawyer who could speak French (English)? Did you get a lawyer who could speak your language? If no, why not? Do you think it is important that the lawyer who is on duty at the court speaks to you in the language of your choice? Please explain your answer.
  • 5b. When you asked legal aid for a lawyer to represent you at your trial, were you given a lawyer who could speak French (English)? Did you ask for a lawyer who could speak French (English)? Did legal aid then give you a lawyer who could speak French (English)? If no, why not? Do you think it is important that the lawyer who represents you at your trial speaks to you in the language of your choice? Please explain your answer.
  • 6. Was there any additional information you needed from legal aid, for example, through the Internet or from pamphlets? Were you able to get this information in the language of your choice? If not, did you have trouble understanding the information?
  • 7. Overall, were you able to get all the legal information and advice that you needed? Do you think it would have made a difference if you were (not) able to get services in the language of your choice? Please explain your answer.
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