Legal Aid Online

Questions and answers

Below are some of the more commonly asked questions about billing on Legal Aid Online. Contact the Lawyer Service Centre at (416) 979-9934 or toll free at 1-866-979-9934 if you need more information.



Legal Aid Online basics


Q. How do I sign up to use Legal Aid Online?

To use Legal Aid Online you will need a Legal Aid Ontario solicitor number and password. To sign up contact the Lawyer Service Centre.


Q. I'm not very good with computers, will I need help?

You do not have to be a computer expert to use Legal Aid Online. A basic knowledge of navigating the web is all you need. If you have done online banking or ordered anything online, this will be very easy for you to use. The Lawyer Service Centre is available during business hours to answer any questions you may have. You can also review the billing tutorials for more information.


Q. What is the Lawyer Service Centre?

The Lawyer Service Centre is a resource offered by Legal Aid Ontario to support lawyers using Legal Aid Online. Representatives provide help with:

  • accessing and using Legal Aid Online
  • tariff and billing information
  • account requests and inquiries
  • requests for deposit slips

Q. Will lawyers have to do duplicate entries if they have time/office management software?

You should continue to use the time management software you currently use for your docket and office requirements. When using Legal Aid Online, unless you are billing a block fee account, you must attach dockets, or detailed accounts, to your online bill as well. If you are requested to submit account details, you can easily provide the docket information from your office management software by fax to (416) 204-4739.



Using Legal Aid Online

Q. Will Legal Aid Online keep track of my hours on big case management issues?

No. Legal Aid Online will not track big case management hours. However the Lawyer Service Centre can provide you with this information.


Q. Will I be able to use Legal Aid Online to keep track of my annual billing limit?

Yes, you can check your annual billing limit on your home page once you've logged into Legal Aid Online.


Q. How do I add other lawyers to Legal Aid Online

The procedure is similar to entering time for a Student or Law Clerk. In the Total Hours Billed section (see below), click on the + (plus) button to add a line to allow for input of the additional lawyer's time.

Adding other lawyers

Q. How do I find out what's new with Legal Aid Online?

Review the "Message Centre" on the sign in page every time you log in, as this is where most updated information will be available. You can also check Hot Bytes to see if there is any new information.

Message Centre sample

Q. If I am submitting an attachment through Legal Aid Online, what file types are accepted?

You can submit attachements that are the following types:


Supported:

  • DOC
  • DOT
  • JPG
  • PDF
  • PPT
  • RTF
  • TIF
  • TXT
  • XLS
  • DOCX
  • BMP
  • EML
  • GIF
  • WKS
  • WK4

Not supported:

  • ZIP
  • XML
  • DAT
  • EFX
  • HPD
  • WDP
  • HTM
  • LWP

Duty Counsel


Q. What is a purchase order?

Purchase orders are assigned by Legal Aid Ontario. They are based on areas of law and geographic area of work, and authorized duty counsel assignments. In some cases, lawyers may have more than one purchase order listed under their solicitor number depending on the area of the province they do work in.


Q. Do I need to know my purchase order number to bill using Legal Aid Online?

No, however, you can use this number to look up the status of your statements on Legal Aid Online. If you have questions about purchase order numbers contact your supervisory duty counsel or the Lawyer Service Centre at (416) 979-9934 or toll free at 1-866-979-9934.


Q. Do I have to enter all client names and dates of birth?

Although these fields are optional using Legal Aid Online, you are required to maintain a paper record of the name of the client you assisted. Speak to your supervisory duty counsel to find out the preferred method of record keeping at your location.

We encourage you to enter as much information as possible, as it helps Legal Aid Ontario provide a better picture of who our clients are and the types of services they need.


Q. I received a family violence duty counsel authorization from the local women's shelter. I tried to submit my account but do not have the right kind of purchase order. What should I do?

If you have not done any family violence duty counsel work in the past, you will not automatically have a family violence duty counsel purchase order. You may be required to apply to be on the domestic violence panel. Please refer to the Panel Standards section.


Q. Who can I contact if I have questions or need help?

You can contact the Lawyer Service Centre at (416) 979-9934 or toll free at 1-866-979-9934, if you need information about or help using Legal Aid Online.



Troubleshooting: Accounts


Q. How can I bill more than one certificate for the same client?

You must enter a different account for each certificate.


Q. Why doesn't the account show all the authorizations and amendments?

There are two possible reasons for this situation:

  • There was no authorization given. Contact your district office for authorization or the Lawyer Service Centre for more information.
  • Certificate amendments will not be visible on saved as draft accounts if the authorizations were granted after the account was saved. You will see any amendments when you create a new account.

Q. Do I have to attach invoices for disbursements?

In general, invoices are not required. However, if disbursements are for a significant amount, you should either attach a scanned copy of the invoices or send them in and include a description of the disbursements in the comment box. Invoices can be faxed to (416) 204-4739, or sent to the Lawyer Payments department:

Lawyer Payments
40 Dundas Street West, Suite 200
Toronto, ON M5G 2H1


Q. Should I attach the account details on accounts where I am requesting discretion?

Yes. Detailed accounts are always required whenever you request discretion, and when you submit any non-block fee account online.


Q. My accounts were incorrectly paid. What should I do?

If your account was not paid correctly please contact the Lawyer Service Centre. A client representative will review the account with you and provide you with instructions.


Q. I prepare accounts for more than three lawyers in my firm. It's frustrating to sign off and on for each lawyer. Is there an easier way?

Yes. You can have one user ID and password assigned if you submit accounts for three or more solicitors within a firm.

Complete an authorization form in Word or PDF format, and make sure that it has all of the lawyers' names and solicitor numbers on it. Sign it, and fax it back to the Lawyer Service Centre at (416) 979-7326 and they will provide you with a user ID, password and resource kit.


Q. Why can't I delete draft accounts?

You cannot delete an account if it has already been saved as a "draft" or submitted. When you complete and submit the account, it will be removed from the system as a draft and it will have a new status, such as submitted.


Q. What if I make a mistake after I hit "submit"?

Once you click "submit, your account has already gone through for processing. If you think you made a mistake, contact the Lawyer Service Centre as soon as possible and they will be able to assist you.


Q. I submitted an account through Legal Aid Online but I cannot find it under "Review Accounts." Why?

It takes approximately 24 hours from the time an account is submitted for it to go through the initial processing stage and appear under "Review Accounts." If after 24 hours you are still unable to find it, please contact the Lawyer Service Centre.