Information for lawyers


Information for Lawyers

Over the years both Legal Aid Ontario and the legal profession in general has seen its language grow and evolve. To make communicating easier we've compiled a list of acronyms and other shortcuts that are used by Legal Aid Ontario and the law profession in general.

If you have any suggestions for acronyms/terms to add to this list please forward them to



AAO - Application Assessment Officer
Screen and/or interview applicants that require legal aid services and make entitlement decisions based on legal and financial information obtained from the client.

ACE - Advocacy Centre for the Elderly
Specialty community legal clinic.

ACLC - African Canadian Legal Clinic
Specialty community legal clinic.

ACLCO - Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario
The representative body of Ontario's community legal aid clinics which is governed by staff and board members from clinics across the province.

ACTO - Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario
Specialty community legal clinic.

AD - Area Director
The person responsible for a legal aid area office's operations.

AGM - Annual General Meeting
A meeting that is conducted yearly and open to the general public.

ALGO - Algoma Community Legal Clinic Inc.
General service community legal clinic.

ALST - Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto
Specialty community legal clinic.

AO - Area Office
Provides family and criminal legal services to low-income clients.

AOA - Area Office Administrator
The person responsible for a legal aid area office's administrative duties.

ARCH - Disability Law Centre
Specialty community legal clinic.



BCM - Big Case Management
Program that deals wit the financing of complex and costly cases.

BSPM - Balanced Scoreboard Performance Measurement
Part of the performance measurement process.



CAS - Children's Aid Society
Agency responsible for protecting children from abuse and neglect.

CAS (a.k.a. Collections) - Client Account Services Department
Department responsible for managing the financial aspect of client accounts.

CASP - Client Access and Service Program
Designed to improve client services, ensure consistent access to high quality services across the province and expand the range of service delivery models by which we provide those services.

CBA - Canadian Bar Association
An organization that enhances the professional and commercial interests of lawyers and protects the independence of the judiciary and the Bar.

CCC - Criminal Code of Canada
Is an Act of the Government of Canada respecting criminal law.

CCCDL - The Canadian Council of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Represent defence counsel and offer a national voice and perspective on criminal justice issues from coast to coast.

CD - Community Development
Collaborative, collective action taken by local people to enhance the long-term social, economic, and environmental conditions of their community to create better overall quality of life for everyone in the community. A core area of work in community legal clinics.

CDLPA - The County and District Law President's Association
Focus is on issues affecting the practising Bar and local Law Associations.

CECC - Central East Correctional Centre
Adult maximum security facility.

CELA - Canadian Environment Law Association
Specialty community legal clinic.

CEO - Chief Executive Officer
The executive who is responsible for a company's operations.

CFSA - Child and Family Services Act
Provincial statute for the purpose of promoting the best interests, protection and well being of children.

CIC - Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Decides refugee protection claims made outside Canada, in Canadian embassies and consulates.

CIO - Chief Information Officer
The head of the technology/computers department (IT).

CLA - Criminal Lawyer Association
One of the largest specialty legal organizations. A voice for criminal justice and civil liberties in Canada

CLEO - Community Legal Education Ontario
Specialty community legal clinic.

CLO - Criminal Law Office
Provides specialized criminal law services to clients. LAO Staff Office.

CLW - Community Legal Worker
Clinic staff person that provides summary advice, brief services and representation to clinic clients on clinic law issues.

CNCC - Central North Correctional Centre
Adult maximum security facility.

CP&I - Central Programming and Innovation
LAO division responsible for programs that have a province-wide mandate, such as specialty clinics, and the duty counsel hotline.

CPP - Canada Pension Plan
The Canada Pension Plan is Canada's joint government and user-financed pension plan.

CRM - Client Relationship Management
Generic software. At LAO, refers to module of PeopleSoft used to take applications for certificates.

CRO - Clinic Resource Office
Research and litigation support for clinics.

CSCC - Central South Correctional Centre
Adult maximum security facility.

CSSP - Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples
Specialty community legal clinic.

CWCC - Central West Correctional Centre
Adult maximum security facility.

E - EAP to ESM

E - EAP to ESM

EAP - Employee Assistance Professional
A person from service provider who will help direct any employees who need advice or assistance.

ED - Executive Director
The person responsible for a clinic's operations.

EDC - Expanded Duty Counsel
Family duty counsel offices with expanded services.

EI - Employment Insurance
Helps unemployed Canadians between jobs by providing temporary financial assistance while they look for work or upgrade their skills, or while they are pregnant, caring for a newborn or adopted child, or sick.

ESM - Extremely Serious Criminal Matter



FIPPA - Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
Provides access to most records under the control of the provincial government while protecting the privacy of individuals who do not want their personal information made public.

FLIC - Family Law Information Centre
Provide information about family law, court procedures, and alternatives to going to court such as family mediation.

FLO - Family Law Office
Provides specialized family law services to clients. LAO Staff Office.

FLSA - French Language Services Act
Guarantees to every person the right to communicate with and to receive all services in French from the Government of Ontario, its ministries and agencies. This includes the right to full and equal access to administrative justice services.

FRO - Family Responsibility Office
Ensures that support payments flow properly from payers (people who make support payments) to recipients (people who receive them).

FSW - Family Support Worker
Assists Ontario Work's participants in getting financial support for themselves and their children through support orders and agreements.

H - H & C to HTA

H - H & C to HTA

H & C - Humanitarian and Compassionate Claim
A type of refugee claim

HALCO - HIV and AIDS Legal Clinic (Ontario)
Specialty community legal clinic.

HR - Human Resources
Department that monitors the availability of qualified workers; recruits and screens applicants for jobs; helps select qualified employees; plans and presents appropriate orientation, training, and development for each employee; and administers employee benefit programs.

HRSDC - Human Resources and Social Development Canada(formerly Human Resources and Skills Development Canada)
Responsible for providing all Canadians with the tools they need to thrive and prosper in the workplace and community.

HTA - Highway Traffic Act
Provincial statute which covers driving and other highway related offences.



IAPEU - Internal Audit and Program Evaluation Unit
Focus on program delivery, customer service, accountability and compliance with regulations

IAVGO - Industrial Accident Victims Group of Ontario
Specialty community legal clinic.

ICIWIG - Inter-Clinic Immigration Work Group
Representatives of clinics, around the province, who work in the field of immigration law, share and discuss issues around and solutions to legal issues/cases related to immigration.

IMPAC - Innovation, Measurement, Prioritization, Accountability, Coordination
LAO's strategic management strategy created to govern LAO's development and to help achieve the Value Agenda.

IRB - Immigration and Refugee Board
Responsible for making well-reasoned decisions on immigration and refugee matters, efficiently, fairly and in accordance with the law.

IRPA - Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
An Act respecting immigration to Canada and the granting of refugee protection to persons who are displaced, persecuted or in danger.

ISAC - Income Security Advocacy Centre
Specialty community legal clinic.

IT - Information Technology
IT encompasses all forms of technology used to create, store, exchange, and use information in its various forms.

ITAC - Information Technology Advisory Committee
LAO Committee regarding clinic IT issues.

IWC - Injured Workers Consultants
Specialty community legal clinic.

IWSA - Indian Welfare Service Act
Provides that Indians resident in Ontario may be eligible for Family Benefits Act (on the same basis as other residents) and permits cost-sharing agreements with Canada for social services provided to Indians.



JUST - Justice for Children and Youth
Specialty community legal clinic.

L - LAO to LTD

L - LAO to LTD

LAO - Legal Aid Ontario
Justice agency that provides legal services to low income people.

LASA - Legal Aid Service Act
Enacted in 1998 to establish LAO as an independent but publicly funded and publicly accountable non-profit corporation, to administer the province's legal aid program.

LSC - Lawyer Service Centre
A resource offered by LAO to support lawyers using Legal Aid Online

LSHC - Landlord Self-Help Centre
Specialty community legal clinic.

LSUC - Law Society of Upper Canada
Self-governing body for lawyers in Ontario

LSP - Lawyer Services and Payments
LAO department that ensures lawyers get paid efficiently and accurately for the services they provide to clients.

LTB - Landlord/tenant Board
Resolves disputes between residential landlords and tenants by providing public education, mediation and adjudication services in a fair and timely manner.

LTD - Long Term disability
Provides protection to an employee unable to work for an extended period of time because of a total disability arising from illness or injury.



MAG - Ministry of the Attorney General
Responsible for providing a fair and accessible justice system that reflects the needs of the diverse communities it serves across government and the province.

MCSA - Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
Specialty community legal clinic.

MCSS - Ministry of Community and Social Services
Provides services and supports to people of all ages who have a developmental disability and their families.

MEDC - Metro East Detention Centre
Adult maximum security facility.

MNDC - Metro North Detention Centre
Adult maximum security facility.

MOU - Memorandum of Understanding
Agreement between government & LAO, and between clinics or SLASSs and LAO.

MSDC - Metro South Detention Centre
Adult maximum security facility.

MWDC - Metro West Detention Centre
Adult maximum security facility.

N - N/P to NLS

N - N/P to NLS

N/P - Non parte (non-contributory)
A legal aid certificate given to a client with no requirement to pay all or part of the cost of the legal fees

NALSC - Nishnawbe-Aski Legal Services Corporation
Specialty community legal clinic.

NLS - Neighbourhood Legal Services
General service community legal clinic.



OACAS - Ontario Association of Children Aid Societies
Membership organization representing CASs in Ontario and provides system support to assist and enhance their role in the community.

OAS - Old Age Security
Universal, federal benefit provided to retired Canadians aged 65 and older.

OBA - Ontario Bar Association
An organization of lawyers formed to provide support by the profession to the profession to better service its members and the public.

OCA - Ontario Court of Appeal
The Court is composed of 22 judges who hear over 1500 civil and criminal appeals each year.

OCL - Office of the Children's Lawyer
Delivers programs in the administration of justice on behalf of children

ODSP - Ontario Disability Support Program
Meets the needs of people with disabilities and helps them to become more independent.

OJEN - Ontario Justice Education Network
Public legal education program that increases the public's understanding of the role of judges and the legal system operations.

OLA - On line acknowledgement
Process that allows lawyers who do legal aid work to acknowledge certificates through the online billing system, Legal Aid Online, as soon as a client presents it.

OM - Office Manager
One of the positions in clinics funded by LAO.

OPICCO - Ontario Project for Inter-clinic Community Organizing
Created to ensure that community organizing remains a central part of the work that legal clinics across Ontario do.

OW - Ontario Works
Provides financial and employment assistance to people in temporary financial need.

OWA - Ontario Works Act
Provides temporary financial assistance to those most in need who meet the criteria in the Act.

P - PLE to PO

P - PLE to PO

PLE - Public Legal Education
The availability of educational materials and presentations about the legal system.

PO - Provincial Office
Legal Aid Ontario's head office.



QSO - Quality Service Office
Ensure that there is a standard for quality legal aid services.

R - RFP to RTA

R - RFP to RTA

RFP - Request for proposal
An invitation for suppliers, often through a bidding process, to submit a proposal on a specific commodity or service.

RLO - Refugee Law Office
Provides specialized refugee law services to clients. LAO Staff Office.

RPD - Refugee Protection Division
Decides claims for refugee protection made by persons in Canada.

RTA - Residential Tenancies Act (formerly Tenant Protection Act)
Gives residential landlords and tenants specific rights and obligations.



SALCO - South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario
Specialty community legal clinic.

SBT - Social Benefits Tribunal
Hears appeals of decisions regarding social assistance that people receive under the Ontario Works Act, 1997 and the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997.

SCC - Small Claims Court
Provides a way for the average person to resolve simple disputes concerning money or property with a neighbour, a merchant and even a customer for amounts up to $10,000, (varies in each province) without having to hire a lawyer.

SCC - Supreme Court of Canada
The final general court of appeal, the last judicial resort for all litigants, whether individuals or governments

SDC - Supervisory Duty Counsel
Staff duty counsel who supervises the delivery of duty counsel services in an area.

SES - Service Encounter System
Legacy system used to record client information.

SLASS - Student Legal Aid Services Societies
Offer innovative legal services to low-income communities, and provide law students with a clinical education program.

SMC - Senior Management Committee
Senior executives who meet regularly to review projects and help set direction for the organization, under the guidance of the board of directors.

SOAP - Simplified online application process
A simple, online application form and eligibility test for clearly eligible clients that decreases the time required to complete an application and receive a decision.



TDCP - Tenant Duty Counsel Program
Offers legal advice to eligible tenants appearing before the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal (ORHT) across Ontario.

TSN - Total Service Network
Project to replace legacy systems with the PeopleSoft? system.

V - EAA to EZZ

V - EAA to EZZ

VP - Vice President
An executive officer ranking immediately below a president.



WAN - Wide Area Network
A high quality, dedicated, secure and constant connection operating directly between each office and LAO's Provincial Office.

WCAT - Worker's Compensation Appeals Tribunal
An independent appeal tribunal, which hears and decides appeals from final decisions of the Workers' Compensation Board.

WCB - Worker's Compensation Board
Provides support to Ontario workers who are victims of workplace accidents and diseases.

WSIAT - Workplace Safety Insurance Appeals Tribunal
The final level of appeal to which workers and employers may bring disputes concerning workplace safety and insurance matters in Ontario.

WSIB - Workplace Safety Insurance Board
Promotes safe and healthy workplaces, and provides a comprehensive and viable support and insurance system for injured workers and employers.



YCJA - Youth Criminal Justice Act
Provides the legislative framework for a fair and effective youth justice system.