Legal Aid Ontario

  • Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is an independent agency, funded largely by the Province of Ontario. It gives low-income people access to a range of legal services for a variety of legal matters including criminal matters, family disputes, immigration and refugee hearings, landlord/tenant disputes and employment insurance. Eligibility for legal aid is based on financial need and the type of case. The applicant may pay nothing or a portion of the costs of the legal aid, depending on his or her financial situation. If you are approved, you will receive a Legal Aid Certificate, at which point you are entitled to hire a lawyer, who accepts Legal Aid Certificates.

  • The following website provides answers to different questions, including the financial eligibility requirements, the location of the legal aid offices and community legal clinics in Ontario.


Duty Counsel Service
Duty counsel are private bar or Legal Aid Ontario staff lawyers who can give immediate legal assistance to low-income people who appear in court without a lawyer. Duty counsel services are available to low-income people in every courthouse in Ontario. If you have a criminal or family law issue, speak to duty counsel before your court hearing. Please note that duty counsel cannot assist with criminal trials.
Advice Lawyers
Legal Aid offers out-of-court support through advice lawyers. Advice lawyers assist people with general advice and reviewing legal documents on issues such as family law. You can call 416-979-1446 in Toronto or 1-800-668-8258 elsewhere in Ontario to get information or referrals.
Student Legal Aid Services Societies (SLASS)
Student Legal Aid Services Societies (SLASS) is funded by Legal Aid Ontario. They operate out of Ontario’s six law schools. With the supervision of full time lawyers or qualified professors, volunteer law students provide legal advice and represent clients in cases such as: minor crimes, landlord and tenant, immigration and tribunals, including the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Each clinic may have different eligibility requirements. Please contact the clinic to see if you qualify for their services.
Here is a list of SLASS locations.

Need immediate assistance? You can call Legal Aid Ontario toll-free at 1-800-668-8258 or 416-979-1446 to speak to a representative. Legal Aid Ontario accepts collect calls.