Fact sheets

Legal Aid Ontario can help

Need legal help but can’t afford it? We provide legal services for financially eligible, low-income Ontarians in the following areas: domestic violence, family law, immigration and refugee law, criminal law, civil mental health law and poverty law.

Legal aid services

  • In court. Duty counsel are lawyers who can quickly assess a client’s legal problems and provide advice, information and representation to someone who would otherwise be unrepresented and unassisted in the courtroom. Clients can also speak with lawyers at Family Law Information Centres—located in most family courts—to get free general legal advice on family law issues and get help with reviewing legal documents.

  • Over the phone. Toll-free services include information, referral, legal aid applications and advice from a lawyer.

  • Representation by a private lawyer. Financially eligible clients with legal matters covered by LAO may be able to apply for a certificate, which covers the cost of a lawyer for a certain number of hours.

Legal services eligibility

LAO will provide you with the services best suited to your legal matter. To receive assistance, you must qualify financially and your legal matter must be covered by one that LAO covers.

For the most serious legal matters, LAO may offer full representation through its certificate program. In some cases, you may have to repay some or all of your legal fees. Please not that you must qualify under a separate financial eligibility test for this program. To find out more, call us or visit legalaid.on.ca/eligibility

Multilingual assistance

A call to LAO’s toll-free number helps you to access a wide range of general information, summary legal advice, and applications for legal aid in over 300 languages.

Contact us

Toll-free: 1-800-668-8258

TTY service for the hearing impaired: 1-866-641-8867

Service is available Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visit legalaid.on.ca for more information on Legal Aid Ontario’s (LAO) services or LawFacts.ca for answers to questions on refugee law, criminal law, mental health issues and for resources if you self-identify as First Nation, Métis, or Inuit.

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Legal Aid Ontario can help
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For more information on this topic contact media@lao.on.ca