Data set: Race-based data for legal aid certificates

As part of its commitment to better serve its clients, Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) began in 2018 to ask its clients to voluntarily indicate if they self-identified as part of a racialized group and, if so, how they identified themselves.

Over the past two years, 85 per cent of our clients have indicated their willingness to answer to these questions. What we learned from the data in these early stages helped inform LAO in the final phases of LAO’s Racialized Communities Strategy (RCS) and its final report and action plan. A similar self-identification question for Indigenous people is also assisting LAO’s Aboriginal Justice Strategy as it is currently working on its final report.

LAO is currently one of the only organizations in the justice system in Ontario that collects race-based data on its clients.


File Format Data type Data last refreshed
2018-2020 Certificates Issued by FSA and race-based category CSV Table July, 2020
2018-2019 Certificates Issued by LAO District and race-based category XLSX Table July, 2020


July 17, 2020: The new data and information contains a more detailed breakdown of the ‘Asian’ category. Individuals previously included in an aggregated ‘Asian’ category will now be included in one of the following aggregated categories: Asian–East, Asian–South‑East, Asian– South, or Multi‑racial.


The data for this file is generated based on the first three characters of the postal code collected as part of the certificate application process (records with invalid or missing postal codes are not included in this dataset), the area of law covered by the certificate and the date the certificate was issued. Cells with a value of less than 6 were masked with a value of X.