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Legal Aid Ontario. About Legal Aid Ontario LAO’s mandate is to "promote access to justice throughout Ontario for low-income individuals by means of providing.

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Presentation on theme: "Legal Aid Ontario. About Legal Aid Ontario LAO’s mandate is to "promote access to justice throughout Ontario for low-income individuals by means of providing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Legal Aid Ontario

2 About Legal Aid Ontario LAO’s mandate is to "promote access to justice throughout Ontario for low-income individuals by means of providing consistently high quality legal aid services in a cost-effective and efficient manner”. March 3-4, Connecting Regions

3 Legal Aid Ontario services LAO is committed to continuously enhancing client services that meet client expectations Seamless Service Lower cost transactions No wrong door Accessibility Multilingual services Right service at the right time Simplified process Standardization } } March 3-4, Connecting Regions

4 Legal Aid Ontario services Telephone Web/Internet Courthouse services Duty counsel Private Bar Brydges Aboriginal services Community Legal Clinics (independent not-for-profit organizations) Law School Clinics March 3-4, 2011Connecting Regions 4

5 Toll-free service is a key part of LAO’s new service delivery model  Telephone based toll-free services is scalable to manage continuous enhancements and growing demand  Toll-free services provides a greater range of services than were previously available at legal aid offices  Telephone service providing clients with a much requested tool for accessing legal assistance. 5 March 3-4, 2011 Connecting Regions

6 Toll-free help line launched in December 2008  Accessible from anywhere in Ontario and out-of-province  Collect calls accepted  1,300 calls answered per day, with an average wait time of under one minute.  TTY services for hearing impaired clients, including message relay to other departments in Legal Aid Ontario 1,093 calls to the TTY line answered between Dec ’10 and Feb ‘11 6 March 3-4, 2011 Connecting Regions

7 Services available in 120 languages, including 18 aboriginal languages and dialects  4,840 calls answered from non-English callers in January 2011 Enhanced menu of information is under development to permit clients calling after-hours to access help March 3-4, Connecting Regions

8 Toll-free services  Separate queue for French language callers  Priority queue for:  Victims of domestic violence  Callers requiring interpretation  Callers from courthouse locations: CSC has access to client’s information 5 CSC staff dedicated to take calls Simplified screening process Reduced turn around time to process application 8 Connecting Regions March 3-4, Connecting Regions

9 Calls to the toll-free service continue to climb, with 9,417 more calls answered in Jan ‘11 than in Apr ‘10 March 3-4, Connecting Regions

10 Services available: Certificate applications Referrals to  Duty counsel  Community legal clinics  Ontario Disability Support Program or Ontario Works  Family Responsibility Office  Citizenship and Immigration  Ontario Labour Relations Board  Law Society of Upper Canada March 3-4, Connecting Regions

11 Services available (cont...) Information for current clients  Application or appeal status  Change of address or personal information  Confirmation of lawyer acknowledgement of certificate 20 minute telephone-based criminal and family law summary legal advice (SLA) services  1363 assists provided between Aug '10 and Jan '11 March 3-4, Connecting Regions

12 12 March 3-4, 2011 Connecting Regions The number of summary legal advice assists has continued to climb between Apr ’10 and Jan ‘11

13 Legal Aid Ontario Service integration March 3-4, 2011 Connecting Regions 13

14 Enhanced website Enhanced website provides in-depth information for clients and lawyers  1800 visitors to the website each day Quick online access to information about LAO’s range of services better prepare clients to navigate the justice system Internet-based services are a cost-effective and easily accessible way to receive legal information from anywhere inside or outside of Ontario. March 3-4, Connecting Regions

15 Enhanced website New services such as the Family Law Information Program (FLIP) and Public Legal Information (PLI) will broaden legal services for both low and middle income Ontarians.  FLIP is a free online resource that provides legal and practical information for adults in Ontario whose relationship with their spouse or partner is breaking down.  PLI, available early spring 2011, is an online resource that clients will be able to access that will help them make more efficient use of frontline services such as duty counsel. While initially focused on criminal matters, PLI will be expanded to include family law. March 3-4, Connecting Regions

16 Courthouse services Integrating services and resources in courthouse locations ensures direct-client services are accessible for low-income Ontarians.  Courthouse services are a key aspect of providing the right service at the right time. March 3-4, 2011 Connecting Regions 16

17 Courthouse services 51 courthouse locations offer a convenient way to provide low-income Ontarians appearing in court that day without a lawyer, help or information on their legal matters.  90 per cent of all criminal matters are heard in courts that have an LAO office. Courthouse locations assist with filling out certificate applications, referrals to other services and general information about court processes. March 3-4, Connecting Regions

18 Courthouse services Courthouse-based duty counsel lawyers provide assistance for low-income Ontarians who are unrepresented in criminal and family matters. March 3-4, Connecting Regions

19 Courthouse services Duty counsel services include:  Assessing the legal needs of clients  Providing information and legal advice  Providing representation where appropriate  Making referrals to other LAO services, including the toll-free call centre and LAO courthouse office for legal aid certificate services  Making referrals to other non- LAO services in the community March 3-4, 2011Connecting Regions 19 In fiscal year 2009/10, duty counsel lawyers provided over a million assists

20 Simplified certificate program eligibility A Simplified financial eligibility test introduced in February 2011 expedites the application process for Legal Aid Ontario’s certificate program, providing faster services for low-income Ontarians. Connecting Regions 20 March 3-4, 2011

21 Faster certificate appeals process Appeals are now processed faster and more consistently through area committees  Area committees consider appeals within three days  Clients no longer need to travel to area committee meetings for their appeal matters to be heard  Area committee meetings are held by teleconference with the necessary documents available for review on a secure website  Area committee membership criteria has changed and members are now paid for their work March 3-4, Connecting Regions

22 Community legal clinics are non- profit legal centres that provide low-income people and communities triaged assistance with matters such as housing, income security programs, and workers’ rights Other matters may include:  Human rights  Criminal Injuries Compensation  Consumer law  Special education and education law  Other areas of the law depending on community need March 3-4, Connecting Regions

23 Community legal clinics offer a variety of services, including: o Triaged legal services  comprehensive referrals  legal information and advice  brief services, where representation is not necessary or feasible  legal representation before courts and tribunals  Outreach activities  Websites with legal information  Public legal education of all types  Community development and community capacity-building  Systemic advocacy  Law reform including test case litigation March 3-4, Connecting Regions

24 LAO in Durham-Frontenac district LAO has been providing access to justice for low-income clients in Durham- Frontenac since 1967  117,130 Durham- Frontenac area residents currently fall below the low-income cut-off line, March 3-4, 2011Connecting Regions 24

25 LAO in Durham-Frontenac district LAO recognizes the need for high-quality cost effective services and is committed to maintaining a strong presence in the Durham- Frontenac district  82 per cent of Durham-Frontenac district legal aid applicants to the certificate program are accepted 25 March 3-4, 2011 Connecting Regions

26 LAO in Durham-Frontenac district March 3-4, 2011 Connecting Regions 26

27 LAO in Durham-Frontenac district LAO services points in the district  Community Clinics 7 community clinics 7 main office and 13+ additional satellite locations  Correctional Law Project  Student Legal Services – Queen’s University Legal Aid  Belleville’s Community Advocacy & Legal Centre and Queen’s University Student Legal Services share space at the Napanee office on Tuesday & Friday March 3-4, Connecting Regions

28 LAO in Durham-Frontenac district District office role  Peterborough district office and the Oshawa and Napanee offices coordinate and support staff and per diem lawyers, duty counsel.  Offices also manage client service and build partnerships with justice sector stakeholders March 3-4, 2011 Connecting Regions 28

29 Lawyers in Durham-Frontenac 317 active lawyers accepting legal aid work operate in the Durham-Frontenac district.  194 on the Criminal Panel  207 on the Family Panel  140 on the Child and Family Services Panel  9 on the Refugee & Immigration Panel  30 on the Consent and Capacity Board Panel  42 on Extremely Serious Matters Panel March 3-4, Connecting Regions

30 Service cooperation in Durham-Frontenac LAO continues to receive and process expedited applications from shelters across the district.  Shelters fax the completed application to either the Peterborough district office or the Napanee office.  Applications completed by Rights Advisors, Patient Advocates and duty counsel (in the case of the Regional Treatment Centre) for clients requiring representation for CCB/Mental Health matters are expedited and processed by the Peterborough district office and the Napanee and Oshawa offices. March 3-4, 2011 Connecting Regions 30

31 Service cooperation in Durham-Frontenac Federal institutions serviced by LAO:  Millhaven  Bath  Kingston Penitentiary  Regional Treatment Centre  Collins Bay  Frontenac  Joyceville  Pittsburgh  Warkworth Provincial institutions serviced by LAO:  Quinte Detention Centre  Central East Correctional Centre  Brookside Youth Centre  Sundance Youth Centre March 3-4, 2011Connecting Regions 31

32 Connecting Regions: Durham-Frontenac COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS March 3-4, Connecting Regions


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