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LAO working with local London lawyers to provide additional family services
Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is drawing from provincial funding to work with family lawyers in southwest Ontario to provide additional services at the Family Law Information Centre (FLIC) in London and also at two local legal aid clinics.
Starting June 23, a second advice lawyer, in addition to a full-time lawyer, will be available every weekday at the London FLIC from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to:
- provide advice about the role of counsel, how to choose a lawyer and what a lawyer can help clients with
- refer and advise people on other sources of assistance, such as onsite or off-site mediation, counselling services, legal aid or community resources
- provide up to 20 minutes (depending on time constraints) on how the court process works and related general advice on family law matters, such as , disclosure requirements, documents to be filed, and costs consequences
Additional case-specific services such as document review and assistance with document preparation may be available for financially eligible clients.
Family lawyers are available for a half-day every month at:
- Londonís Neighbourhood Legal Services clinic, which began serving clinic clients in February and
- Elgin-Oxford Legal Clinicís Tillsonburg location, which began serving clinic clients effective May 20.
People who go to the clinics in need of support for their family law matter will be able to call in and arrange a 30-minute appointment with an LAO family lawyer at the clinic or satellite office.
They will no longer have to travel long distances for family law services. They will also no longer need to wait for first-come-first-serve support at the FLICs in London, Woodstock or St. Thomas.
Services offered, depending on time and resources, include:
- general advice relating to family matters, such as custody, access, child support, spousal support, restraining orders and Family Responsibility Office matters
- alternative dispute resolution advice
- review of court documents
- if clients are financially eligible, and if time is available, preparation of family court documents.
The availability of family lawyers is part of an initiative to address the unmet legal needs of unrepresented family litigants is part of a larger, long-term strategy to improve access to justice for low-income Ontarians.
LAOís family law strategy aims to reduce the number of unrepresented family litigants, provide an avenue for consensual dispute resolution, expand the early resolution service sector and provide holistic and integrated services.
LAO allocates approximately $70 million annually in the delivery of family law services to help more than 125,000 low-income Ontarians through a wide range of family law services, including summary legal advice, mediation, assistance from lawyers at family law information centres and family law service centres, representation by private practice lawyers, and settlement conferences.
For more information on these services:
Director General, London District
Neighbourhood Legal Services (London & Middlesex) clinic
Market Tower, 151 Dundas St., Ste. 507
Clinic clients can telephone 519-438-2890 to make an appointment
Hours: Third Fri. of every month, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Elgin-Oxford Legal Clinicís TIllsonburg office
96 Tillson Ave.
Clinic clients can telephone 519-433-8179 or toll-free 1-877-449-4001 to make an appointment.
Hours: Starting May 20, third Tues. of every month, noon to 4 p.m.
Phone: 416-979-2352 ext. 6015