Legal Aid Ontario provides legal help in English and French for financially eligible low‑income Ontarians in:
- family law
- refugee and immigration law
- criminal law
- mental health law
- clinic law
Our services include:
- a toll‑free telephone line that includes 20 minutes of free legal advice for family law matters
- same day courthouse services including duty counsel, paralegals and court workers
- staff lawyers who represent clients
- representation by a private lawyer through our certificate program
- web‑based information and referrals
- support for 72 independent legal clinics and seven student legal aid services societies throughout the province
Our four core values reflect the attitudes, behaviours and culture we encourage across our organization. Our management and staff demonstrate their commitment to these core values in their daily activities and interactions with others. These values guide our decision‑making, the delivery of programs and services, and how we interact with our clients, stakeholders and one another.
We will be accountable and committed to working towards achieving our mandate. We will listen to our clients, and be a strong voice in representing them and promoting access to justice. We will take initiative and lead by example. We will actively communicate and engage our colleagues and stakeholders in effective collaboration to achieve our goals.
We will always focus on providing exceptional service to our clients. This means thinking about the big picture as well as individual needs. We will work hard and continuously improve ourselves to be better.
We will actively identify and solve complex problems. Together, we will face problems head‑on and offer different ideas and solutions to advance the goals of the organization.
We will approach everything we do honestly and with integrity. We will have empathy and respect for everyone we interact with, including our clients, colleagues and stakeholders. We will be culturally sensitive to our clients’ needs and circumstances.
Legal Aid Ontario promotes access to justice for low‑income Ontarians by:
- providing consistently high quality legal aid services in a cost‑effective and efficient manner
- encouraging and facilitating flexibility and innovation in the provision of legal aid services
- identifying, assessing and recognizing the diverse legal needs of low‑income individuals and of disadvantaged communities in Ontario
- providing legal aid services to low‑income individuals through a corporation that will operate independently from the Government of Ontario but within a framework of accountability to the Government of Ontario for the expenditure of public funds
In fulfilling this mandate, Legal Aid Ontario is committed to providing services which recognize the importance of diversity, access, equity, creativity and quality.
Five‑year strategic plan
Legal Aid Ontario’s five‑year strategic plan, launched in January 2019, outlines five key strategic goals for providing access to justice for low‑income Ontarians:
- client‑centred focus
- demonstrated value for money
- innovative services
- engaged staff
- effective collaboration