3. Learn about Legal Aid services

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is a government agency that provides services in French to people with a low income. Some of these services include:

  • about 50 regional offices where you can apply for a legal aid certificate
  • criminal law and family law telephone line that gives general legal information
  • criminal law and family law duty counsel offices that give general legal advice and information to people who appear in court without a lawyer  
  • criminal law Brydges duty counsel service for people in police custody that need to talk to a lawyer
  • family law advice counsel offices that give general legal advice and information
  • 4 regional offices that have Francophone legal advice lines that give free, confidential legal information and advice in French, on legal matters other than family law and criminal law

Community legal clinics

Some of these clinics offer services in French. If they don’t, they can refer you to a lawyer or clinic that does.

LAO funds 73 community legal clinics across the province that help with:

  • Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program matters
  • Landlord/tenant problems
  • Wrongful dismissal and other employment issues

There are also specialty clinics that:

  • represent specific individuals, for example, seniors, people living with HIV, and people with disabilities, or
  • deal with a specific area of law, for example workers compensation and workers’ health and safety


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