Getting legal help


Do you need legal help?


Legal Aid Ontario provides legal assistance for low-income people. Services include:

If Legal Aid Ontario cannot help, we will refer you somewhere that can.


The number of people we refer to our toll-free number for help

 

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

Level 1

280,000

257,778

251,176

Level 2

109,000

100,489

74,902

Summary legal advice: family

23,600

23,498

28,783

Summary legal advice: criminal

11,000

11,071

13,355

SLA Immigration and Refugee

3,000

1,731

2,390

Total

426,600

394,567

370,606

Calls typically begin at Level 1, then may be transferred to Level 2 or summary legal advice. Some calls begin at level 2, and may be transferred to summary legal advice. This data counts a call at each level that receives service. If a call is answered at Level 1, for instance, then transferred to Level 2, it is counted at both.


Am I eligible for legal aid?

To get legal aid services, your legal issue must be one that Legal Aid Ontario covers, and you must be financially eligible. Usually, this means that:

Find out more about legal aid eligibility.


Types of help

To find out more about our services, select the type of law below that best fits your legal issue:

                   

Domestic violence

Legal Aid Ontario has special services to help victims of domestic violence. If you are experiencing violence or the effects of violence, crisis and abuse, find information on getting immediate help.

More

Criminal

Legal Aid Ontario offers legal help for a number of criminal charges. Find out if your legal matter is eligible.

Youth crime


If you are charged with a crime and were under the age of 18 at the time of arrest, read about legal aid and the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

More

Family

Legal Aid Ontario assists eligible clients with family issues such as child custody, access and support.

More

Immigration and refugee

Legal Aid Ontario assists with immigration and refugee matters, such as hearings before the Immigration and Refugee Board.

You can also find a copy of the Client & Lawyer Rights and Responsibilities in your language.

More

Civil

Legal Aid Ontario helps elgible clients with mental health hearings or appeals. For workplace safety or insurance appeals, employment benefits, government assistance issues, or other tribunals and civil proceedings, a community legal clinic may be able to help.

More

Housing

Financially eligible tenants may be able to get information, legal advice and representation from community legal clinics for housing issues including:

  • Helping tenants when landlords refuse to provide needed repairs to a rental property
  • Assisting with hearings at the Landlord Tenant Board Administrative Tribunal

More

Government assistance

Community legal clinics can help with government assistance cases such as:

  • Appeals, cancellation or suspension of Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Ontario Works (OW).

More

Out of province

Legal Aid Ontario may be able to help even if your legal matter takes place in another Canadian province or territory. Call 1-800-668-8258 to speak to a legal aid representative.

More

Are you Aboriginal?

Services to Aboriginal clients are a priority. First Nations people, Métis people and Inuit people are encouraged to self-identify their Aboriginal ancestry.

More

Other resources

If your don’t see your legal issue here, please refer to our resources section for links to other agencies and online sources that may be able to help.

More



Help in the courtroom

If you're at the courthouse and do not have a lawyer, you can get legal help and advice from duty counsel. These are lawyers who can give immediate legal assistance. Duty counsel are located in many courthouses in Ontario.

Please note that you should speak to duty counsel before your court appearance.


Community legal clinics

Legal Aid Ontario funds 76 community legal clinics throughout the province. Thirteen of these clinics provide specialty legal services.

Each is a non-profit legal centre, governed by an independent board of directors representative of the community it serves. Clinics employ lawyers, legal workers, paralegals and administrative staff to provide information, legal advice and representation.


Are you Aboriginal?

Services to Aboriginal clients are a priority. First Nations people, Métis people and Inuit people are encouraged to self-identify their Aboriginal ancestry.

Find out why it is important to tell your lawyer you are Aboriginal.


Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), an independent but publicly funded and publicly accountable non-profit corporation. None of this material may be commercially reproduced, but copying for other purposes, with credit, is encouraged.

© 1998-2014 Legal Aid Ontario, all rights reserved

Privacy Policy  |  Accountability  |  Disclaimer