Legal Aid Reality Check


Legal Aid Ontario is pushing back against myths about its services, with a fact-sheet that counters some common misconceptions.

Does LAO provide certificates for mental-health matters? For matters in which jail time would be intermittent? What about duty counsel — what training do they have, anyway? These are a few of the topics presented, with statistics to back up the information.

Check out “Legal Aid Ontario: Myths and Realities” to learn more.


More Information:
    Free events and information, including Legal Aid Ontario-produced material, happening online all winter:

    Flip Your Wig for Justice March 6 — Legal Aid Ontario is one of the participating organizations:





  1. Tracey Gauley · ·

    And this myth too:

    “Myth: “LAO is moving to a public defender system”

    LAO is not moving to a public defender system. Such a change would require new legislations and LAO is not aware of any plans to change the Legal Aid Services Act.

    The mixed system as we now have it in Ontario is effective and efficient in serving clients needs.”

  2. Tracey Gauley · ·

    Thank you for this! I always wondered about the scope of LAO. I heard a terrific presentation on this at a PSO event, but unfortunately arrived half way through it, and therefore missed critical information, so thank you for posting this. I have copied and pasted one of the areas (a myth that I too had heard that now has been dispelled), below:

    “Myth: “Duty counsel lawyers are inexperienced”

    All LAO duty counsel have extensive experience and do an exceptional job for LAO clients.

    Staff duty counsel: average years of experience is 11

    Per diem duty counsel: average number of years of experience is 19

    Clients have reported to LAO that they are very pleased with LAO’s duty counsel service – Results from the 2012 LAO Annual Client Satisfaction Survey showed that 96.7 % of clients who received assistance from duty counsel felt they were well served.”

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