Legal aid panels

Duty counsel - Advice lawyer panel standards

The following are Legal Aid Ontario's (LAO) mandatory requirements for admission to, and retention on, the panels in the following areas of law:


Advice lawyer - domestic violence

To be admitted to the advice lawyer-domestic violence sub-panel a lawyer shall:

  1. be a panel member of LAO's certificate family law panel
  2. attend or view domestic violence training courses provided by or approved by LAO, as required by the district area director.

Advice lawyer - correctional institutions

To be admitted to the advice lawyer-correctional institutions sub-panel a lawyer shall:

  1. be a panel member of LAO's certificate criminal law panel.

Advice lawyer - refugee and immigration

To be admitted to the advice lawyer-refugee and immigration sub-panel a lawyer shall:

  1. be a panel member of LAO's certificate refugee and immigration law panel.

Advice lawyer - mental health

To be admitted to the advice lawyer-mental health sub-panel a lawyer shall:

  1. have demonstrated familiarity with the relevant mental health legislation to the satisfaction of the district area director; and
  2. during the three month duty counsel probation period, shadow an experienced member of the advice lawyer-mental health sub-panel.

District area director's discretion

The advice lawyer standards shall apply across the province. The district area director shall have the discretion to empanel a lawyer who may not fully meet the standards, if the district area director deems the panel member to have the necessary skills and experience. In the interest of ensuring quality service, a district area director shall have the discretion to require such an applicant to enhance his/her knowledge through professional development and/or being mentored, as deemed appropriate.