LAO Newsroom

Interested in Becoming an Area Committee Member?

Posted on: Friday, May 21, 2010

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is looking for area committee members. If you’re interested in making a difference to low-income Ontarians across the province, read on to find out what’s involved in being an area committee member.

What is an Area Committee?

Legal Aid Ontario area committees are district-based groups of lawyers and non-lawyers, who meet to hear the appeals of decisions that decide who will receive, or continue to receive, legal aid.

Only LAO applicants who are financially and legally eligible can receive legal aid. District area committee members are aware of the policies and procedures of LAO and the Legal Aid Services Act, and decide if the District Area Director was correct to refuse or cancel legal aid.

Area committees also decide, based on an opinion letter from the applicant’s lawyer, whether LAO should fund appeals of a criminal conviction/sentence or a civil judgment against the applicant. Civil judgments tend to be family law, Children’s Aid and refugee matters.

What is the difference between the old area committees and the current ones?

Area committees used to be managed by a network of legal aid offices, and will now be managed by the nine district offices.

In the past, area committees met in person, along with the applicant appealing their Legal Aid Ontario decision. Going forward, area committee meetings will be conducted as teleconferences with the necessary documents available for review on a secure website. District area committee members will take part remotely at their chosen location, using telephone and internet access.

Time Commitment

Area committee members must be able to dedicate preparation time meeting and attend a minimum of one meeting per month.


Area committee members will be compensated at the LAO Tariff Tier 3 rate.

How to Apply

View the job posting if you’re interested in becoming a member of the area committee in your district.