Lawyer’s annual self‑report

All Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) lawyers must complete and submit an annual self‑report to:

  • renew or retain membership on the legal aid roster and authorizations for all areas of law in which they work
  • confirm their ongoing compliance with the area of law in which you provide legal services standards
  • automatically update their standing on LAO’s rosters

Lawyers can access, fill in and submit their self‑report on Legal Aid Online. The self‑report will be located in the Personal Info section.

Changes to the self-report process

The self-report has been updated to reflect the minimum experience requirement changes communicated in November 2022.

This improved self-report process will simplify the user experience, will reduce the administrative steps required to maintain roster membership, and will permit LAO to more accurately manage roster membership data, including conditional status. 

Though the process for completing the report is mostly the same, there are several differences compared to previous years. 

New interface 

To improve user experience, the self-report is now more user friendly and simpler to navigate.  The self-report questions will now be presented on sequential pages with a verification option on each page. Previously, all questions were presented on a single, lengthy page. 

New questions 

Several new questions have been added to the self-report to confirm whether a roster member meets the new minimum experience requirements. The language in some existing questions has been updated to reflect LASA 2020 terminology.  

Tracking conditional authorization 

Through this year’s annual self-report, LAO will use the responses received from roster members to track and maintain conditional membership, set renewal dates, and gather information on the experience level of each roster member. 

Submitting the annual self-report is a crucial part of maintaining roster membership and ensuring experience is properly accounted for by LAO.  

Certificate lawyers can learn more about the conditional authorization renewal process in the minimum experience requirements amendment document. 

Renewing duty counsel authorization 

All duty counsel memberships are now limited to 24 months. Through the lawyer self-report, existing duty counsel can request to remain on the roster for the next two years, until March 31, 2025.  If a request to remain on the duty counsel roster isn’t made, then the duty counsel authorization will be automatically removed.   

Duty counsel renewal is a separate process from conditional membership, and all duty counsel roster members are subject to the renewal process. 

In accordance with LASA, 2020, membership as duty counsel does not guarantee a minimum of duty counsel shifts, and in certain jurisdictions LAO’s duty counsel lists remain oversubscribed.   

Duty counsel can learn more about their authorization process on our website. 

Resources to navigate roster membership 

We have developed interactive process maps to help roster members understand the scenarios in which they may be granted full roster membership or conditional authorization based on whether they meet LAO’s new minimum experience requirements or prior panel standards.  

As we previously indicated, no roster member will lose their membership on the roster through the transition to the new minimum experience requirements. 

We will also be releasing a conditional status and duty counsel renewal tracking tool later in 2023 to help those with conditional authorization, and duty counsel track their membership status. 

This tool will permit conditional roster members to track and report meeting the minimum experience requirements and duty counsel to request renewal via the Legal Aid Online portal in a simple and user-friendly manner.  We will share more information about this tool as we complete its development. 

Questions 

For questions about roster membership or conditional status, contact roster@lao.on.ca.

For technical difficulties with the online self-report, contact the Lawyer Service Centre at 416-979-9934 or 1-866-979-9934.

More information 


Questions and answers

What is the annual self‑report?

It is a report that LAO requires all lawyers to complete about themselves, in order to maintain their continued standing on LAO’s roster and confirm ongoing compliance with standards.

On it, lawyers confirm that they continue to meet the requirements of the standards, i.e. they have:

  • attained the required minimum amount of related experience (or equivalency) for continued standing and
  • completed their annual professional development, as required by the standards during the previous calendar year.
What is the timeframe covered by the annual self‑report?

The report covers January to December of the previous calendar year.

Why should I complete the self‑report?

If you are providing legal aid services completing your self‑report will enable you to continue acknowledging certificates for the area(s) of law in which you provide legal aid services, and enable duty counsel to continue performing duty counsel services on behalf of LAO.

What if I submit the self‑report late or not at all?

LASA 2020 and its rules require all roster lawyers to complete their self-report by March 31 each year.

Further to the Auditor General of Ontario’s recommendations, and in accordance with LASA 2020 and its rules, roster lawyers who do not file their self-report by March 31 will be automatically redirected to the self-report page and will have limited Legal Aid Online functionality. Acknowledging new certificates and submitting accounts to LAO will not be possible until the report is filed.

Roster lawyers who do not file an annual report by Dec. 31 may be suspended and removed from the roster (Rules 32 (5)(6)).

What if the area(s) of law in which I provide legal aid services I am on is not on the list shown in the window?

Please contact your district office to make sure your list includes all the areas of law you are authorized to provide legal services in.

Do I need to keep records of my participation, attendance and/or viewing of continuing professional development (CPD) and continuing legal education (CLE), related to meeting the experience and CPD requirements of the standards?

Yes. LAO randomly audits lawyers to ensure that the information provided on their annual self‑report accurately reports the experience and CPD requirements for each area of law.


Questions

For questions about roster membership or conditional status, contact your district area office. For technical difficulties with the online self‑report, please contact the Lawyer Service Centre at 416‑979‑9934 or 1‑866‑979‑9934.