Getting Legal Help
Legal Aid Ontario (LAO)
Legal Aid Ontario provides legal assistance for low-income people. Ontario's Community Legal Clinics, are funded by Legal Aid Ontario to provide legal services for low-income individuals and families in several areas of law. The Landlord Self-Help Centre is a LAO legal clinic that supports small landlords. Clinics can also help you to find support and advice by directing you to other community agencies.
Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC)
The Human Rights Legal Support Centre provides legal advice and assistance to people in Ontario who have experienced discrimination contrary to the Human Rights Code. Their services may include legal assistance in filing applications at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, and legal representation at mediation and hearings.
JusticeNet is a not-for-profit service helping people in need of legal expertise, whose income is too high to access legal aid and too low to afford standard legal fees. JusticeNet is available to anyone living in Canada whose net family income is under $59,000 and is experiencing financial difficulties. Reduced fees are calculated according to a sliding scale which takes into account the number of individuals supported and amount of income from all sources. Clients who have a low income should contact Legal Aid Ontario to determine eligibility before applying for this program.
Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC)
The Law Society of Upper Canada has a referral service which provides the name of a lawyer or licensed paralegal who will provide a free consultation of up to 30 minutes to help you determine your rights and options. The Law Society also produces a guide to handling everyday legal problems and gives advice on finding and choosing a lawyer. This information is available in the “For the Public” section of the Law Society’s website.
Justice for Children and Youth
Justice for Children and Youth (JFCY) is a legal aid clinic that serves low-income children and youth under 18 and homeless youth under 25. JCFY staff lawyers provide direct legal assistance to eligible children and youth in the Greater Toronto Area. JFCY also offers summary legal advice, information and assistance to young people, parents (in education matters), professionals and community groups across Ontario.
Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth
The Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth (The Advocate’s Office) responds to concerns from children, youth, and families seeking or receiving services in the areas of youth justice, child welfare, children’s mental health, development services and children’s treatment services.
The Advocate’s Office can help youth through a process at a board or tribunal and may sometimes intervene directly on their behalf.
Law Help Ontario’s Education Law Project provides free child advocacy for families whose children face challenges to their rights in school related to accommodating special needs/disabilities; unfair expulsions, suspensions, exclusions or transfers; being denied the right to attend school; and bullying or harassment.
Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)
Community Legal Education Ontario produces free legal information in print and online, in English and French and other languages, on many topics including housing and social assistance. Your Legal Rights is a website of Community Legal Education Ontario which has practical legal information on a wide range of legal topics produced by hundreds of organizations. You can also find a map and full listing of community legal clinics - general service, specialty community legal clinics, and student legal aid services societies in Ontario.