How can a Community Legal Clinic help me?

Community legal clinics (CLCs) can give you free or low-cost legal information, advice and representation.

CLCs offer a variety of legal services, including:

  • Free consultation and information
  • Information and services to help you prepare for your case
  • Full representation by a clinic advocate (who may be a lawyer, community legal worker or law student)
  • Referral to a private practitioner, duty counsel or community agency
  • Public legal education and information

All help is private and confidential.

CLCs provide services in specific areas of law, such as landlord-tenant disputes, employment law, refugee and immigration law, and more.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, and are in need of immediate help, some CLCs can help you get a free 2-hour counselling session with a lawyer through the Family Violence Authorization Program [PDF].

Some CLCs are called speciality clinics and they deal with specific areas of law, or represent specific individuals (for example, seniors or people living with HIV/AIDS).

In most cases, you must get help from the CLC closest to you. However, you can get help from a specialty clinic no matter where you live.

Contact your local CLC to find out if they deal with the area of law that you need. If they do not, they will try to refer you to an agency that does.

Eligibility

A CLC may have eligibility criteria, such as:

  • Does the CLC have staff who are qualified to handle your legal situation?
  • Do you live in the area it serves?
  • Are your income and assets below a certain level?

For More Information

  • Community Legal Clinics in Ontario - More information about legal clinics and a full listing of offices across Ontario. From Legal Aid Ontario.
  • HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario - This clinic serves people with HIV or AIDS across Ontario. The website includes a newsletter and publications on topics of interest to the clinic's clients and their families.
  • Justice Ontario - This website has information about Ontario's legal system, including family and criminal law, lawsuits, human rights, wills and estates, and tickets and fines. You can get legal information in over 170 languages.
  • LawHelpOntario.org - This website has information about how to find lawyer and how to work effectively with a lawyer. It also has resources for those who cannot afford a lawyer or who do qualify for legal aid.
  • Getting Legal Help: A Directory of Community Legal Clinics in Ontario - A clear language listing of Community Legal Clinics (CLCs) across Ontario and their areas of practice. From CLEO - Community Legal Education Ontario.
Last updated: October 29, 2015 4000078