What services can I get from Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) in French?
3. Learn about legal aid certificates
If your income is low, you may be able to get a legal aid certificate from Legal Aid Ontario (LAO). You must meet their financial eligibility rules and your legal issue must be one that LAO covers. LAO will process your application in French or English. If you get a legal aid certificate, you can use LAO’s finding the right legal aid lawyer tool to search for a lawyer by location, area of law, or language spoken.
LAO has about 50 regional offices where you can apply for a legal aid certificate. Or you can phone them Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 1-800-668-8258 or 416-979-1446 in Toronto.
To apply for a legal aid certificate, you must meet LAO’s financial eligibility rules. This means you have to show them that you have a low income. You must give information about your income, property, and savings. You also have to give information about how many family members live in your house and how much money each person makes.
Issues covered by Legal Aid Ontario
To get a legal aid certificate, your legal issue must be one that LAO covers. For example, you usually can’t get a certificate to sue someone who damaged your property. But you may get a certificate for some legal issues about:
- family law
- criminal law
- immigration law
- refugee law
For more information, read the question How do I apply for a legal aid certificate?
Getting a legal aid certificate
Regional offices in a designated area usually have administrative support staff or an Application Assessment Officer who speaks French. In smaller offices, LAO has at least one person on staff who speaks French.
At LAO offices in non-designated areas, you will be put into contact with bilingual staff, and the application process will be completed over the phone.