LAO boosts student legal aid clinics’ funding

Monday, September 21, 2015

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) will increase the funding of each Student Legal Aid Services Society by $100,000 annually. As a result, these clinics will provide additional services to low-income Ontarians while helping to train the lawyers of tomorrow. Ontario’s seven Student Legal Aid Service Societies operate out of law schools, allowing students to provide legal services under the supervision of qualified lawyers. The student legal aid clinics plan to use the additional resources in the following ways:

  • Community and Legal Aid Services Program at York University’s Osgoode Hall will begin offering employment law services and increase the hours of existing staff.

  • Community Legal Aid at the University of Windsor will begin offering consumer law services and expand its existing employment law services.

  • Community Legal Services at London’s University of Western Ontario will take on more criminal and housing law cases.

  • Downtown Legal Services at the University of Toronto will expand its housing law services and launch a new employment law division.

  • Queen’s Legal Aid at Kingston’s Queen’s University will hire another lawyer to expand all its services.

  • The Community Legal Clinic at the University of Ottawa will expand its bilingual housing law services.

Lakehead University in Thunder Bay is in the process of establishing Lakehead Legal Services. The clinic will receive its additional $100,000 during the 2016/17 fiscal year.


"This funding commitment is an investment in our future. By boosting support for student-run legal clinics, we are increasing access to justice and helping tomorrow’s legal professionals gain invaluable real-world experience. I applaud LAO’s leadership on student legal clinics and commitment to providing services to our most vulnerable communities.”

— Madeleine Meilleur, Attorney General of Ontario

“Thanks to the Ontario government’s commitment to increase access to legal aid, Legal Aid Ontario can invest in new services for low-income people. The student legal aid clinics serve their communities and help law students experience the satisfaction of hands-on social justice work.”

— John McCamus, Chair Legal Aid Ontario

Quick facts

  • Ontario’s seven Student Legal Aid Service Societies allow law students to provide legal services under the supervision of a qualified lawyer.
  • This initiative follows the Ontario government’s multi-year commitment to increase access to legal aid.
  • The Ontario government increased LAO funding by 9 per cent, or $31.5 million for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

Learn more


Genevieve Oger
Bilingual Senior Communications Media Relations Officer
Tel: (416) 979-2352 ext. 5208
Cell: (416) 768-4461
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