3. Call a community legal aid clinic

I can't afford a family law lawyer, where else can I find legal help?
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3. Call a community legal aid clinic

Some community legal clinics (CLCs) across Ontario give free legal help or advice on family law issues to people who have low incomes.

To get legal advice from them, you must normally live in the area the clinic serves and your income and assets must be below a certain level. To find your CLC, you can search by your postal code.

If your CLC offers legal services on family law issues, the services they offer can include:

  • free consultation and information
  • information and services to help you prepare for your case
  • a clinic advocate, who may be a lawyer, community legal worker, or law student, who represents you in court
  • referrals to a private practitioner, duty counsel, or community agency

If your clinic can't help you, they may be able to refer you to a private lawyer, duty counsel, or other resources that can help you.

Student Legal Aid Services Society (SLASS)

There are a few student legal aid clinics that are staffed by law students who are supervised by lawyers. These clinics are part of law schools located at the University of Ottawa, University of Toronto, Queen's University (Kingston), University of Windsor, Lakehead University (Thunder Bay), York University (Toronto), and Western University (London).

If your income is low enough, you may be able to get help with custody, access, and child support. Some student law clinics can also help with other family law issues like restraining orders and spousal support. They don't help with cases in the Superior Court of Justice.

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Reviewed: July 15, 2019

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