LAO Newsroom

Legal Aid Ontario transforms services in Etobicoke

Posted on: Friday, March 12, 2010

Legal Aid Ontario is transforming how it delivers its services across the province, including in Etobicoke. As part of this process, LAO will be streamlining administration, phasing out its current structure of legal aid application offices and moving towards a model that provides a wider range of legal aid services over the phone and in courthouses.

Clients will be able to apply for legal aid through our toll-free number (Dial 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. Clients can contact us through any phone, even a pay phone. No coins are required and collect calls are accepted.

Clients can now also go to the courthouse to apply for legal aid. LAO is expanding staff and duty counsel services in all GTA criminal courthouse locations as part of a commitment to the province's strategy to reduce court delays. LAO is also creating family law service centres at the legal aid offices in Toronto, North York, Newmarket and Brampton. These family law service centres will provide low-income Ontarians access to a wide range of family law services, including application intake services.

Legal Aid Ontario's new service model improves the management of legal aid services in the GTA Region. The legal aid office in Toronto is now the GTA District office, which will act as the regional hub for all legal aid services in the GTA Region. Legal aid services in the GTA are supported by three directors, who are based out of the GTA District office. Maureen Hastings, Director of Administration, Immigration and Civil Law Services; Paula Beard, Director of Criminal Law Services and Sheilagh O’Connell, Director of Family Law Services will be working together to support clinics, service providers and duty counsel, manage client services and build relationships with justice system partners in the GTA.

We look forward to working with you to ensure the legal needs of low-income Ontarians continue to come first.

For more information

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