Getting legal help

Who to call for help

Legal Aid Ontario's toll-free number (

1-800-668-8258
) connects low-income Ontarians to legal aid services, assistance and information. It's available to help people in Ontario:

  • get free help from a lawyer—also known as summary advice—to help you deal with your legal problem
  • get information about legal aid services
  • learn the legal aid services for which you qualify
  • ask about your legal aid application.

Service is available Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Best time to call: 9 to 10 a.m.

Before you call our toll-free number, consider these options:

I need to talk to someone about...

Subject

Issue

Who to call

Domestic violence

This is an emergency or you are afraid for your life

  • 911
  • Your local police service

You are experiencing violence or the effects of violence, crisis, and abuse.

Get immediate help by calling the Assaulted Women's Helpline, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Anti-Black racism

You have a legal issue that has to do with anti-Black racism

Government assistance

Your social assistance (Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program) income has stopped, or you have another social assistance problem.

You have a different government assistance issue.

Go to LAO's government assistance information page for a list of services and resources.

Finding a lawyer

You have a legal aid certificate.

Go to our find a lawyer page.

You want to be referred to a lawyer.

The Law Society of Upper Canada's Lawyer Referral Service can give you the name of a lawyer within or near your community for a free consultation of up to 30 minutes. Call 1-855-947-5255 or 416-947-5255 in the Toronto area.

Employment or labour issues

You need to talk to someone about payment of wages or wrongful dismissal.

Call the Ministry of Labour Employment Standards Information Centre at 1-800-531-5551 or 416-326-7160 in the Toronto area.

You have questions about labour issues, including union disputes.

Contact the Ontario Labour Relations Board at 1-877-339-3335 or 416-326-7500 in the Toronto area.

You need to talk to someone about employment law.

If you are financially eligible, your community legal clinic may also be able to help you.

Human rights issues

You have experienced discrimination contrary to Ontario's Human Rights Code.

The Human Rights Legal Support Centre at 1-866-625-5179 or 416-597-4900 in the Toronto area.

Personal bankruptcy

You owe money, or someone owes you money.

Call the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada at 1-877-376-9902

Real estate

You have an issue with property.

The Law Society of Upper Canada's Lawyer Referral Service can give you the name of a real estate lawyer within or near your community for a free consultation of up to 30 minutes. Call 1-800-268-8326 or 416-947-3330 in the Toronto area.

An upcoming court date

You want an update on what will happen.

Duty counsel can help you at the courthouse.

A family matter

You need advice on retaining a lawyer.

Contact an LAO Family Law Office, Family Law Service Centre or LAO's toll-free number at 1-800-668-8258

A refugee matter

You are a refugee or immigrant and need advice related to your status.

Get help in over 200 languages at 1-800-668-8258 toll-free (or 416-979-1446 in Toronto; TTY (Telephone device for the hearing impaired):
Local: 416-598-8867
Toll free: 1-866-641-8867

Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. ‑ 5:00 p.m.

A complaint about the service you've received

You want to make a complaint if you're unhappy with our services, or in some cases, appeal a legal aid decision.

Get online information on making an appeal or complaint.

Legal aid services and information

See a full list of services.

Get legal aid help in over 200 languages at 1-800-668-8258 toll-free (or 416-979-1446 in Toronto; TTY (Telephone device for the hearing impaired):
Local: 416-598-8867
Toll free: 1-866-641-8867

Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. ‑ 5:00 p.m.

Current call centre wait time:  

What information should I have with me when I call?

It's a good idea to have a pen and paper nearby, and any documents related to your legal issue, such as court papers and other notices.

What information do I need if I apply for legal aid over the phone?

You may need to provide information about your finances, such as:

  • your source of income, amount of income and any assets,
  • if you are working, you may be asked to mail in three or four pay stubs
  • 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
^