Getting legal help
Am I eligible for legal aid?
Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) provides low-income people with a range of legal services such as:
- duty counsel;
- information, referral, and advice through the toll-free telephone service and from LAO staff in courthouses;
- summary legal advice;
- community legal clinics, and;
- representation by a lawyer through the certificate program.
Looking for information on retaining a lawyer? See the certificate services page.
Can I get legal aid help?
To qualify for legal aid services, you must be financially eligible, and your legal matter must be one that LAO covers.
Legal Aid Ontario's new financial eligibility guidelines
On Nov. 1, 2014 and April 1, 2015, LAO implemented the first two of three annual six per cent financial eligibility increases for all the certificate and duty counsel services it provides. The next increase is scheduled for April 1, 2016.
The charts below provide guidelines for the income levels needed to qualify for services such as duty counsel assistance, summary legal advice available through our toll-free number and advice through a Family Law Information Centre.
The charts also apply to people experiencing domestic violence when they need representation by a private family lawyer. For all other clients who require representation by a lawyer, a separate set of guidelines apply.
Community legal clinics have their own eligibility criteria. Contact a clinic near you to find out more.
Duty counsel and summary legal advice services eligibility, effective April 1, 2015
You will likely qualify for duty counsel/summary legal advice assistance if gross family income is below these levels:
|Number of family members||Income must be lower than|
Note: this chart is for duty counsel and summary legal advice eligibility only. Get information on certificate program eligibility.