Rotation opens up interesting new avenues for staff lawyer

Monday, May 13, 2013


A profile of Legal Aid Ontario’s Steve Gilding

One of the newest members of the Legal Services Development team, Stephen Gilding routinely puts his frontline experience as former supervisory duty counsel to good use.

Steve Gilding

“You’re using the knowledge you get from working out of the courts to find ways to better help the client and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Legal Aid’s services.”
– Steve Gilding, Criminal Law Staff Lawyer

“It opens your eyes to a different perspective,” Steve says of his new role, which started in January. “You’re using the knowledge you get from working out of the courts to find ways to better help the client and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Legal Aid’s services.”

This new role is his second rotation in the Lawyer Workforce Strategy, Legal Aid Ontario’s (LAO’s) talent management system, which allows staff lawyers to work in a variety of capacities at LAO to develop a stronger understanding of clients’ intersecting needs.

Steve first joined LAO in April 2010 as supervisory duty counsel at the Cobourg courthouse. As the only staff lawyer there, he developed a solid understanding of what it means to be duty counsel on the frontlines at both the criminal and family courts.

He routinely found himself assisting clients who would have otherwise been referred to LAO’s certificate program. Whether it was helping in matters that were headed towards resolution, conducting fitness assessments or doing judicial pre-trials, Steve gained valuable experience that allows him to advise the Legal Services Development team in creating services that match clients’ needs.

One of the projects he’s working on takes a look at youth court clients, where having a familiar “go to” person could make a world of difference for troubled youth. Figuring out what makes sense in regions where a “go to” person isn’t feasible is one of the interesting challenges to overcome.

“I enjoy looking at the policy side of things and figuring how things could possibly work for people in the field,” he says.

Steve works out of the provincial office three days a week. Because he lives closer to Cobourg, he works remotely the remaining two days out of the Cobourg courthouse, where he can stay connected with LAO staff providing direct client services.


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For further information on working for LAO, contact LAO’s Human Resources toll-free at genlws@lao.on.ca or by phone at 1-800-668-8258.


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