About LAO

Quality service

To better serve our clients and supporting taxpayers, Legal Aid Ontario has adopted an ambitious vision for quality:

"LAO strives to be a world leader in supporting and assuring excellence in high-quality legal aid services to clients and communities."

Legal Aid Ontario's quality vision

About the QSO

The Quality Service Office (QSO) works in partnership with LAO's provincial and area offices, clinics, certificate bar, duty counsel, Student Legal Aid Services Societies and stakeholders in the justice sector on a range of initiatives designed to enhance the quality of service provided to clients.

The QSO is responsible for:

  • CLE training seminars on streaming videos to assist lawyers in providing quality legal services to clients and acquiring mandatory Continuing Professional Development
  • as required, on-site visits of clinics to ensure best practices
  • supporting clinic knowledge transfer and sharing of best practices
  • a system of self-assessment that holds the clinics and SLASS to a high standard of best practices
  • co-ordinate the clinic staff and board learning and development program


  1. Client focus

    QSO activities must contribute to the improvement of legal aid services for clients.

  2. Working in partnership

    QSO works in partnership with staff, service providers, and stakeholders, to develop and implement quality initiatives that respond to the needs of clients.

  3. Statutory mandate for quality

    Under the provisions of the Legal Aid Services Act, LAO is obligated to "establish a quality assurance program to ensure that it is providing high quality legal services in a cost-effective and efficient manner" (Section 92(1)).

  4. Respect and trust

    • QSO recognizes staff and service providers' commitment to excellence, integrity, and the well-being of clients.
    • QSO respects professional independence in decision-making and service delivery.
    • QSO respects solicitor-client confidentiality and privilege.
  5. Continuous improvement

    Excellence is not an absolute state but a dynamic process that is continually evolving. While performance measurement focuses on indicators of efficiency and effectiveness, the goal is continuous improvement.

Core business

"Core business" refers to the primary services QSO provides to LAO staff, clinics and SLASS, area offices and service providers in their efforts to continuously improve service quality.

  • Best practices for clinics and SLASS

    Conducting clinic and SLASS site visits and quality reviews.

  • Supports to improve quality legal services for clients

    CLE training seminars in the video library, accessible to staff and panel lawyers through LAO LAW.

  • Strategic information and analysis

    Conducting inter-jurisdictional research and developing contacts to ensure leading edge knowledge.


For more information about quality service please contact staff lawyer Carene Smith.