Duty counsel – Advice lawyer panel standards
The following are Legal Aid Ontario’s (LAO) mandatory requirements for admission to, and retention on, the panels in the following areas of law:
Advice lawyer–domestic abuse
To be admitted to the advice lawyer-domestic abuse sub‑panel a lawyer shall:
- be a panel member of LAO’s certificate family law panel
- attend or view domestic abuse training courses provided by or approved by LAO, as required by the director general.
Advice lawyer–correctional institutions
To be admitted to the advice lawyer‑correctional institutions sub‑panel a lawyer shall:
- be a panel member of LAO’s certificate criminal law panel.
Advice lawyer–refugee and immigration
To be admitted to the advice lawyer-refugee and immigration sub‑panel a lawyer shall:
- be a panel member of LAO’s certificate refugee and immigration law panel.
Advice lawyer–mental health
To be admitted to the advice lawyer‑mental health sub‑panel a lawyer shall:
- have demonstrated familiarity with the relevant mental health legislation to the satisfaction of the directors general; and
- during the three month duty counsel probation period, shadow an experienced member of the advice lawyer‑mental health sub‑panel.
Director general’s discretion
The advice lawyer standards shall apply across the province. The director general shall have the discretion to empanel a lawyer who may not fully meet the standards, if the director general deems the panel member to have the necessary skills and experience. In the interest of ensuring quality service, a director general shall have the discretion to require such an applicant to enhance his/her knowledge through professional development and/or being mentored, as deemed appropriate.