Information for lawyers

For criminal lawyers

This page includes links for criminal lawyers on LAO panels or working on legal aid cases.

Legal aid panels

Lawyers who represent legal aid clients must belong to the panel(s) for the type(s) of law they practice. The standards for each panel provide the minimum experience and professional development requirements that lawyers must meet. Panel standards help ensure that legal aid clients receive high-quality services.

A road map for panel lawyers

We have developed a manual to help guide panel lawyers through their working relationship with Legal Aid Ontario. Please read it closely. It includes details and hyperlinks for all the facts we think you need to provide legal services to LAO clients. Go to A road map for certificate and duty counsel lawyers.

Second chair program

This program for private bar lawyers working on LAO-funded cases supports hands-on training for junior lawyers and paid mentorship opportunities for senior lawyers. Learn more.

Case management

LAO provides case management programs for criminal lawyers who take on certain costly cases and proceedings.

Block fees

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO)ís block fee program pays panel criminal lawyers fixed fees or rates (rather than hourly tariff payments) for providing services that lead to guilty plea or stay/withdrawal outcomes on a number of common criminal charges.

Criminal lawyers with non-Canadian clients

Essential information for criminal lawyers whose clients are non-Canadians