What is Legal Aid?

Legal Aid Ontario provides access to legal services for people who have low-income.

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) gives low-income people access to a range of legal services to meet their legal needs. Some of the legal services it provides are:

You have to be eligible to get legal aid services and your legal need must be one that LAO covers.

Does legal aid pay for everything?

Depending on your financial situation, you may be asked to repay some or all of your legal fees. This is most likely if you have assets, such as a house or property, or if you receive money as part of a settlement or judgement.

How do I find a lawyer?

Not all lawyers accept legal aid.

LAO or the lawyer referral service can give you the name of a lawyer who accepts legal aid.

When you contact a lawyer, it is important to say you have applied for or have received legal aid services.

Make sure you are comfortable with the lawyer you choose. If you want to change lawyers, contact LAO first. It is unlikely that you will be allowed to change lawyers.

Call LAO for more information about your situation at 1-800-668-8258 (free anywhere in Ontario) or 416-979-1446 in the GTA. You can get legal aid help in more than 120 languages. You can also access LAO from outside Ontario by making a collect call to 416-979-1446.

Community agencies can help you prepare to apply for legal aid. To find help, go to Services Near Me and search for "legal aid" in your area.

For More Information

  • Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) - The LAO website has information about the Legal Aid program, legal aid clinic listings and publications.
  • Legal Aid Ontario: What is it and how can it help you? - This webinar describes Legal Aid Ontario's services, what they cover, who is eligible, and how to apply. You need speakers or headphones to listen to this webinar. From Community Legal Education Ontario.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Law Society Referral Service (LSRS) - The LSRS is an online service making it possible for residents of Ontario to obtain referrals online, 24 hours a day. The online request, the referral process, and your initial consultation of up to 30 minutes are free.
  • JusticeNet - 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.
Last updated: March 2, 2020 4000077