Information for lawyers

Information for new lawyers

Information for Lawyers

Working for legal aid as a private lawyer


If you want to do legal aid work for Legal Aid Ontario, you must be a member of a legal aid panel for the type of law that you practice. You can only become a member of a panel by meeting panel standards that set out the minimum related experience and mandatory ongoing annual professional development requirements that panel lawyers must meet.

A lawyer who practises more than one type of law must belong to a panel for each type. Lawyers who want to represent clients in family law cases, for instance, must apply to, and meet the requirements of, the family law panel standards.


Here are the steps you need to take to join a panel


Submission Checklist

  • Step 1: Complete the lawyer empanelment package and submit it to your district area director. It includes a:

    • lawyer empanelment form (application to join a panel)
    • request for panel membership
    • direct deposit authorization
    • Tier level increase form (if you have four or more years of experience)
  • Step 2: Complete applicable panel standard forms (one per panel)

  • Step 3: Return all forms to your district office

Once all forms are completed and returned, the empanelment process takes about four weeks.

Note: All of the required lawyer empanelment forms are in the panel standards section. Please read the General Terms and Conditions before filling out these forms.


Get more information on panel standards

For more information on panel standards, please contact your local district area director. The panel standards were developed by Legal Aid Ontario's Quality Service Office.

Contact the LAO Finance department, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., by phone at 416-979-2352 (Susan Howling at ext. 6487 or Julia Marinucci at ext. 6252) or by fax at 647-260-0548 if you have questions about:

  • Fully completed applications that have been approved by district offices
  • Tier level increases
  • Maintaining vendor records (address changes, updating banking information, etc.)
  • HST refunds
  • Government/legal garnishment
  • Solicitor electronic fund transfer (bank EFT) rejects