National Duty Counsel Day: Recognizing the legal aid lawyers making access to justice possible for millions of Canadians

Published: September 15, 2021

Canadians benefit from outstanding social services like universal healthcare, social assistance and employment insurance. But, few know about our public legal services. We made a day to change that.

The first National Duty Counsel Day, on October 27, 2021, aims to raise awareness about duty counsel lawyers whose work ensures that everyone is equal before the law, not just those who can afford a lawyer.

 The right to legal representation is as Canadian as universal healthcare. It’s one of the charter rights that make Canada a great place to live and work. Duty counsel safeguard and deliver on our right to free legal representation in certain situations: providing legal services in criminal, family, immigration law, and, in Ontario, landlord-tenant law. Their work is essential to the efficient operation of our justice system, which helps to maintain social stability and security. In protecting the legal rights of all Canadians, they confront societal barriers and historic injustices, improving lives and promoting a fair and equitable justice system.

Senator Patti LaBoucane-Benson declared October 27 as National Duty Counsel Day in recognition of the vital service duty counsel lawyers deliver every day. Legal Aid Ontario joins its 12 national partners in the Association of Legal Aid Plans of Canada in recognizing and celebrating the indispensable contributions of duty counsel. We invite you to join us.

Visit the National Duty Counsel Day website to read stories about duty counsel lawyers across the country, discover the difference they make, and find out about upcoming events.