LAO Newsroom

Legal Aid Ontario transforms services in Scarborough

Posted on: Friday, April 3, 2010

Legal Aid Ontario is continuing its province-wide transformation of service delivery in Scarborough. LAO is streamlining administration and phasing out its current structure of legal aid application offices as it moves towards a model that provides a wider range of legal aid services over the phone and in courthouses.

Clients in Scarborough can apply for legal aid by calling our toll-free number (1-800-668-8258 and press 0). Other services such as family summary legal advice – assistance not offered at legal aid offices – are also available to eligible clients in 120 languages through simultaneous interpreting services. Legal Aid Ontario accepts collect calls.

Clients can now also apply for legal aid at the courthouse. LAO is improving support to duty counsel services in all GTA criminal courthouses, as part of a commitment to the province's strategy to reduce court delays.  Two legal aid workers located at the Scarborough criminal court will provide assistance to duty counsel and take applications.

LAO’s new family law centres will replace the current legal aid offices in Toronto, North York, Brampton and Newmarket and become access points for family legal aid applications. These new centres will also offer low-income Ontarians a wider range of family law services than were previously available through legal aid offices.

Legal Aid Ontario’s new approach improves the management of legal aid services in Scarborough, now part of LAO’s GTA Region. Lawyers in Scarborough should call the Lawyer Service Centre (416-979-9934 or toll-free 1- 866-979-9934) for billing and account information, and the Client Service Centre (1-800-668-8258) for certificate related issues. All other queries should be directed to the district office in Toronto.

LAO’s GTA Region is supported by three directors, who manage and oversee all legal aid services in the region.  Maureen Hastings, Director, Administration, Immigration and Civil Law Services, Sheilagh O’Connell, Director of Family Law Services and Paula Beard, Director of Criminal Law Services will be working together to support service providers and duty counsel, manage client services and build relationships with justice partners in this community.

For more information

For more information regarding the Legal Aid Ontario Transformation please refer to this link.