Getting legal help
Call LAO toll-free
Legal Aid Ontario’s toll-free number connects low-income Ontarians to legal aid services, assistance and information.
Call 1-800-668-8258 toll-free (or 416-979-1446 in Toronto) to get legal aid help in over 200 languages.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Current wait time:
Who should call?
You should call the toll-free number if you:
- are looking for information about legal aid services;
- want to know what legal aid services you qualify for;
- have questions about your legal aid application.
If you have an upcoming court date, duty counsel may also be able to assist you at the courthouse.
What happens when I call?
When you call the toll-free number, you will hear a recording giving you a number of options to choose from. If you press 4, you will hear Legal Aid Ontario’s financial eligibility criteria.
Most callers will want to stay on the line to speak with a representative. The average wait time to speak with a representative is about three minutes.
The representative may refer you to another legal aid service, such as duty counsel or summary legal advice. They may also direct you to apply for the certificate program. To apply, you will need to speak with a second representative, a client specialist who will take your application. The average wait time for speaking with a client specialist is 10 minutes.
What services are available through the toll-free number?
General information, summary legal advice, and applications for legal aid are all available. See a full list of services.
How long will this process take?
Depending on your legal issue, the call could take from three to 45 minutes.
What information should I have with me when I call?
It’s a good idea to have a pen and paper near by, and any documents related to your legal issue, such as court papers and other notices.
What information do I need if I make a legal aid application over the phone?
If you make an application to the certificate program, you may need to provide information about your finances. For example, you could be asked about:
- your source of income, amount of income and any assets, if you are working
- if you are working, you may be asked to mail in three or four paystubs
- if you are self-employed, you may be asked to mail in recent financial statements
- if you receive assistance from the Ontario Disability Support Program or Ontario Works, the client specialist will be able to verify your social assistance status over the phone
What if I want to talk to someone about the service I receive?
You can make a complaint if you’re unhappy with our services, or in some cases, appeal a legal aid decision. Find out more.