For criminal lawyers
Information for criminal lawyers on Legal Aid Ontario panels or working on legal aid cases.
- Merit test for bail review guidelines
Certificates issued after July 7 will no longer be automatically approved for a bail review. Certificates issued before July 7, where authorization has been given, will not be affected. If the authorization is added on an existing certificate after July 7, then the new merit rules and rates apply.
- Private retainer for bail practice memo
In response to LAO’s decision to remove bail hearing, bail variation and second bail hearing from authorizations on Block Fee Certificates, a question has arisen as to whether you may charge a client a private retainer for bail prior to acknowledging a legal aid certificate. LAO has been asked whether we can provide some additional guidance on how issues of eligibility or set off may be applied in the event that you have been privately retained for bail.
Accounts and billing
- All you need to bill us for services.
- Plea comprehension inquiry form facilitates informed guilty pleas and protects both LAO clients and lawyers.
- Lawyer Inmate Request Form for Legal Aid Service. For use during the COVID-19 disruptions only
- For all other forms, visit our forms library.
- A roadmap for certificate and duty counsel lawyers. All you need to know to do legal aid work.
- Criminal law panel standards. What you need to be admitted to and remain on the criminal panel.
Projects and programs
- Mentorship opportunities at Legal Aid Ontario
- Case management for complex criminal cases likely to cost more than $8 K.
- Bail Strategy, our commitment to making bail faster and fairer.
Research and resources
- LAO Law
Legal Aid Ontario’s research department. You must be a registered panel lawyer to use this service.
- Legal Resources
A list of Law Society resources and other organizations that provide legal information and services in Ontario.
- A Guide to Law in Ontario: Criminal Law
Steps to Justice: questions and answers for accused persons going to criminal court.
- General Criminal Trial Court Info Guide
A guide that provides accused person with general information about criminal trials. (Click here for PDF version)
- General Criminal Law Information
A resource on the Ministry of the Attorney General website that provides information on Criminal Law in Ontario.
Criminal lawyers have a duty to advise clients who are not Canadian citizens and are contemplating guilty pleas or being sentenced that: there may be immigration consequences and they should seek the advice of an immigration lawyer before entering a plea/sentencing. LAO has…
In response to LAO’s decision to remove bail hearing, bail variation and second bail hearing from authorizations on Block Fee Certificates, a question has arisen as to whether you may charge a client a private retainer for bail prior to acknowledging a legal aid…
A lawyer must demonstrate that there is a reasonable chance of success on the review. The request for coverage should include a statement that the lawyer would advise a reasonable client of modest means to undertake the review. It must be supported by a significant change in…