Community legal aid clinics

Provincial fund to expand clinic law services eligibility criteria

Last updated: October 2015

  1. Purpose
  2. Eligibility criteria
  3. Other criteria/information
  4. Mandatory requirements
  5. Rated evaluation criteria

1. Purpose

The Government of Ontario has made a significant, multi-year investment in LAO to expand legal aid services and financial eligibility for low-income Ontarians. LAO’s financial eligibility expansion strategy includes a far-reaching, long-term plan to invest resources in clinic law services.

The purpose of the Provincial Clinic Law Service Expansion Fund is to expand clinic law services. The fund will be used to serve more clients, improve access to justice, build systemic capacity and assist clinics to plan and work together for the long-term betterment of client services.

2. Eligibility criteria

  • The fund will be open to all clinics and Student Legal Aid Services Societies (SLASS) providing direct clinic law services.

  • The fund will be used to support the expansion of client services in areas of unmet client need.

  • Eligible services may include either new client services or an expansion of existing client services.

  • The fund may be used to fund representation, legal advice and assistance, public legal education and information and/or systemic advocacy. Preference will be given to initiatives that provide direct client service.

  • The fund will be used to support collaborative clinic law initiatives, which could include joint proposals by several clinics/SLASS or proposals by one or more clinics in conjunction with non-clinic community partners and/or LAO service providers.

3. Other criteria/information

  • The fund is intended to provide ongoing base funding for clinic law initiatives. Accordingly, the first priority for funding will be to provide resources for eligible, LAO-approved permanent initiatives.

  • For exceptional proposals, LAO will also consider using the fund to support time-limited projects or other initiatives, consistent with the objective of expanding clinic law services.

  • Successful applicants will be required to report on the results for low- income clients and may be asked by LAO to share lessons learned and emerging best practices to allow.

  • LAO will post applications to the fund on its website. LAO will also post its funding decisions.

4. Mandatory requirements

  1. Fits within the purposes of the fund
  2. Fits within the mandate of LAO and the legal clinics
  3. New clinic law client services in areas of unmet client need or expanded services
  4. Collaborative initiative to expand client services
  5. Responses received for every question on the application form
  6. Contact information provided

5. Rated evaluation criteria

Applications are rated against the following four criteria out of the corresponding percentage for each.

  Key criteria Value


The degree to which the proposal constitutes an effective strategy to address the unmet needs of low-income Ontarians and vulnerable or specific client groups in particular



How the proposal provides for effective collaboration



Degree to which the proposal provides for permanent improvements in the long-term delivery of legal services to low-income Ontarians



How the results will be measured