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Community Legal Clinics

Introduction

Community Legal Clinics provide services to address the unique legal needs of low-income people and communities. They are independent, non-profit organizations that are governed by locally elected Boards of Directors and receive funding from Legal Aid Ontario.

  • The local Board of Directors tries to match its services to meet the priority needs of the community it serves.
  • The types of issues that Community Legal Clinics may provide help with include:
    • Tenant rights
    • Ontario Works (welfare)
    • Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
    • Government pensions (CPP, CPP-Disability)
    • Immigration and refugee matters
    • Employment Insurance
    • Workplace Safety and Insurance
    • Employment rights
    • Criminal Injuries Compensation
    • Human rights and discrimination
  • Community Legal Clinic lawyers and legal workers provide legal information and legal advice, and represent people in Court, before Boards and Tribunals, and in mediation.
  • Community Legal Clinics also engage in test cases, public legal education, community organizing and other law reform initiatives.
  • Most Community Legal Clinics serve the specific geographic areas in which they are located and each community in Ontario is now served by a clinic.
  • There are also 17 Specialty Clinics that either deal with a specific area of law (for example: housing, workers' health and safety, income security, etc.), or represent a specific, non-geographic community (for example: seniors, disabled people, South Asian peoples, etc.).
  • Specialty Clinics serve clients from all parts of Ontario, but may not represent individual clients.
  • Another option to consider is a legal clinic run by a Student Legal Aid Service Society - these are clinics where law students, who are supervised by lawyers, can assist you with certain legal problems.
  • You should contact a Community Legal Clinic directly to determine if they can help you with your legal problem and if you qualify financially for their services.

Learn more

  1. Decide if your legal problem relates to Community Legal Clinics.
  2. Read Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to learn more about Community Legal Clinics.
  3. Follow the Steps for instructions on how to get help from a Community Legal Clinic.
  4. Review the Resources to find new and in-depth legal information about Community Legal Clinics.
  5. See the Links for news and other helpful websites.

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DisclaimerLast updated 07/30/2009