Fact sheets

Legal Aid Online: More than just a billing portal

It provides lawyers with services and interactive communications

Fast facts about billing and submissions through Legal Aid Online

  • 80 per cent of LAOs accounts are matched and paid online
  • almost 100 per cent of lawyers submit their accounts electronically

Fast Facts about certificate management through Legal Aid Online

  • 97.2 per cent of all certificates are currently acknowledged online
  • 3,951 lawyers have acknowledged 325,753 certificates between the portals launch in March 2005 and July 4, 2012
  • 2,686 lawyers had signed up for SMS text messaging or email notifications by July 4, 2012
  • 23,436 amendment requests from lawyers were processed between Sept. 2011 and March 31, 2012

Legal Aid Online is a secure website that enables lawyers who do legal aid work to submit accounts for payment and to acknowledge and manage their certificates. It also enables the bar to communicate with Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) about payments and electronically submit documents.

Legal Aid Online service and communications features

  • Online billing and status updates. Lawyers can submit their certificate and duty counsel accounts to LAO and:

    • submit dockets, invoices and discretion requests with accounts
    • monitor payment status
    • check hard cap status, read annual billing limits, arrange to receive notices
    • electronically submit disbursement requests, expedite requests and review requests
    • electronically send and receive correspondence from LAOs Lawyer Services and Payments department on a specific certificate
    • read Electronic Fund Transfer deposit notices
  • Updates to clients information. Lawyers can update their clients personal information through Legal Aid Online to ensure that this information is as current as possible and that their clients receive important information, such as updates on their legal aid certificate or contribution agreement.

  • Certificate status updates by email or text message. Lawyers can set up email or text message (SMS) alerts on Legal Aid Online to notify them when the area office assigns them a certificate or makes a change to one of their acknowledged certificates.

  • Online training and tutorials. Lawyers can learn the basics of how to sign in and create an account, information on submitting criminal accounts with multiple proceedings and much more.

  • Direct access to LAO LAW, using a single sign-in. LAO LAW provides an extensive online body of legal research and resources to Ontario lawyers who represent clients on legal aid certificates.

Fast Facts on Lawyer Services and Payments

Every year, this department:

  • manages the accounts of more than 4,000 panel lawyers
  • settles more than 215,000 accounts
  • answers 25,000 calls
  • examines 8,000 accounts.

The role of LAOs Lawyer Services and Payments department

This department is responsible for ensuring that lawyers are paid efficiently and accurately. It strives to process 95 per cent of payments within 60 days. Here are some of its services and roles:

  • processes lawyer accounts for payments that come in on Legal Aid Online, including requests for discretion and disbursements
  • conducts reviews of settled accounts
  • provides advice to lawyers on the online billing system
  • answers questions regarding account status
  • processes accounts that have been billed late
  • expedites requests and hard cap exemptions,
  • supports district offices on billing issues
  • develops enhancements to Legal Aid Online to provide more efficient services for lawyers


Lawyers can call our Lawyer Service Centre, toll-free (Mon. to Fri., 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) at 1-866-979-9934 for information about:

  • accessing and using Legal Aid Online
  • their account
  • information about LAO contacts related to their files
  • tier level change requests
  • tariffs and billing

Fact sheet for lawyers on payment for criminal matters

Fact Sheet for lawyers on support services for lawyers

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Legal Aid Online: More than just a billing portal
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For more information on this topic contact media@lao.on.ca