LAO Newsroom

Legal Aid Ontario transforms services in Toronto

Posted on: Monday, March 1, 2010

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is transforming how it delivers services province-wide.  In keeping with our mandate to provide high-quality and cost-efficient legal aid services for low-income Ontarians, LAO is using technology and innovation to streamline administration and increase front-line client services to make legal aid help and information more easily available in Toronto.

Toronto residents can now get legal aid help and information toll-free over the phone, in person at courthouse locations and on LAO’s revised website. Our toll-free number (Dial 1-800-668-8258 and press 0) connects clients and lawyers to a full range of legal aid services and information in 120 languages – including summary legal advice for eligible clients.

Many clients in Toronto are already using the toll-free number. LAO’s newly revised website provides a 24-hour point of contact for legal aid information.

As part of the Justice on Target initiative, the province’s strategy to reduce court delays by 30 per cent, LAO is improving services available in the courts. Duty counsel and LAO staff services are expanding at the Old City Hall, 311 Jarvis Street, and College Park court locations. LAO is also establishing family law service centres in Toronto, North York, Newmarket and Brampton to provide clients more alternatives to solve their family law issues, and greater access to the information and legal assistance they need, when they need it.

Legal Aid Ontario’s new service delivery model builds upon our regional system by establishing districts in each region. This new approach also improves coordination, accountability and management of legal aid services and service providers. To achieve administrative efficiencies, the Toronto area office is now the district office of the GTA Region. The GTA District office will administer centralized functions, including the area committee process, and certificate and panel management responsibilities.  It will also act as the regional hub, and be supported by three directors, who manage and oversee all legal aid services in the GTA Region. Maureen Hastings, Director of  Administration, Immigration and Civil Law Services, Sheilagh O’Connell, Director of Family Law Services and Paula Beard, Director of Criminal Law Services, GTA Region will be working together to support clinics, service providers and duty counsel, manage client services and build relationships with justice partners in the GTA community.

We look forward to working with you to ensure the legal needs of low-income Ontarians continue to come first.

For more information

For more information regarding the Legal Aid Ontario Transformation please refer to this link.