LAO in the Courthouse
Helping clients in courthouses across Ontario
Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) staff are now available in 47 courthouses across Ontario to assist low-income Ontarians when and where they need legal aid help. LAO courthouse staff can take legal aid applications, give referrals, and provide information to low-income Ontarians.
Having a legal aid office at the courthouse is convenient for clients who are attending court. They can quickly travel down the hall to apply for legal aid, rather than having to leave the courthouse to make their application, and returning to court another day.
Courthouse offices and LAO’s simplified application process means that many clients now receive a certificate on the same day as their first court appearance. This reduces the need for rescheduled appearances, and helps resolve legal issues with less delay.
LAO in the Courthouse has improved client access to legal aid services. This initiative allows LAO to deliver services more efficiently and effectively, and helps our clients resolve their matters faster. Court-based legal aid workers have provided more than 13,000 criminal matter assists to eligible clients through the program. They currently handle more than 80 per cent of criminal court matters involving certificates.
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