Legal Aid Ontario appoints Dr. Beverly Jacobs to lead review of organization’s structure

Legal Aid Ontario begins major review of organizational structure to better serve Indigenous clients

Published: November 4, 2021

TORONTO (November 4, 2021) Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) has appointed Dr. Beverly Jacobs, Associate Dean at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law, to lead a review of its structure to respond to the legal needs of Indigenous people in Ontario.

The appointment is part of a commitment LAO has made to working with Indigenous communities and all levels of government to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action—particularly those addressed to the justice community.

Dr. Jacobs has begun her review of LAO’s internal organizational structure and will present her recommendations before year end. LAO will make Dr. Jacobs’ findings and recommendations public.


“Legal Aid Ontario is committed to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, which include the commitment to eliminate the overrepresentation of Indigenous adults and youth in the criminal justice and correctional systems. Dr. Jacobs is highly regarded for her expertise regarding Indigenous Peoples in the legal system. We are pleased that she is working on this important review that we hope will improve legal services to Indigenous Peoples and increase their access to justice in Ontario. Reconciliation can only happen through reflection, action, and partnership with First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities. LAO will continue to work in this manner, embracing the spirit of the TRC.”

– Charles Harnick, Chair, Legal Aid Ontario

“I am honoured to be appointed to do this work with Legal Aid Ontario. I believe in transformational change and that LAO is committed and willing to do what is right for Indigenous peoples in Ontario.”

– Dr. Beverly Jacobs, Academic Associate Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor

For more information or interview opportunities, contact:

Graeme Burk
Senior Media Relations Advisor
Phone: (416) 347-7862

About Dr. Beverly Jacobs

Associate Dean (Academic) at University of Windsor Faculty of Law, Dr. Jacobs practices law part time in her home community of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She is an award-winning scholar whose research focuses on Indigenous legal orders, wholistic health and the decolonization of Eurocentric Law. In 2018, she was inducted as a member of the Order of Canada and most recently, she was honoured with the Law Society of Ontario’s Laura Legge Award.

About Legal Aid Ontario

Legal Aid Ontario provides legal help in English and French for financially eligible low-income Ontarians, providing high-quality legal services in family law, refugee and immigration law, criminal law and mental health law. LAO also provides funding to 72 independent legal clinics and seven student legal services organizations throughout the province.