Legal Aid Ontario Refugee and Immigration Services

Posted on: Friday, July 3/09

For the last two years, Legal Aid Ontario has been moving to provide modernized services in a more effective and efficient manner by employing new technology, improved client services, and best management practices. In 2007, LAO initiated the “Value Agenda”, a corporate-wide program to modernize the organization and generate 1 per cent in service improvements or efficiencies each year between 2007 and 2012. The “Value Agenda” is having a positive impact on client service and access.

New client services and access points include SOAP (Simplified Online Application Process), Legal Aid in the Courthouse, an enhanced Legal Aid Ontario Client Service Centre and the regional re-organization of Legal Aid Ontario. All of these have made the organization more efficient and responsive to client needs.

As part of the Value Agenda, LAO is looking for new opportunities to streamline and improve the delivery legal aid services including refugee and immigration legal services. The goals of improving refugee and immigration processes are;

  • more responsive to clients needs by ensuring they have access to the "right legal aid services at the right time"
  • ensure that LAO has the flexibility to respond quickly to large unforeseen influx of claimants who share the same country of origin

Until improved processes are developed, finalized, and for ready implementation, clients and service providers should continue to access Legal Aid services through existing channels.