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Ontario Enhancing Funding for Student Legal Aid Clinics

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Ontario Enhancing Funding for Student Legal Aid Clinics

Clinics to Expand Services and Serve More Clients

Ministry of the Attorney General

Ontario is increasing access to justice for low-income people while helping more law students gain practical experience by significantly boosting funding for the province's seven student-run legal clinics.

As part of Ontario's multi-year commitment to increase access to legal aid, Legal Aid Ontario will increase the amount of funding it provides to Student Legal Aid Services Societies by $100,000 per year for each of Ontario's six existing student legal aid clinics, which are operated by law schools at York University, University of Windsor, University of Western Ontario, University of Toronto, Queen's University and University of Ottawa. Lakehead University's student legal aid clinic, which is in the process of being established, will also receive $100,000 in additional funding for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

The new funds will help these clinics expand the services they offer within their communities by extending their hours, hiring more staff, and serving more clients -- while at the same time giving law students practical, hands-on experience.  

Expanding access to legal aid services is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan.

Quick Facts

  • Student Legal Aid Service Societies allow law students to provide legal services under the supervision of a qualified lawyer.
  • Funding for this initiative is part of Ontario's multi-year commitment to increase access to legal aid. When fully implemented, an additional one million low-income Ontarians would be eligible for legal aid services.
  • Ontario’s legal aid system helps ensure more Ontarians have access to the legal services they need. Legal Aid Ontario is an independent agency with sole responsibility for managing its operations and finances.
  • Since 2003, Ontario has invested over $3 billion into Legal Aid Ontario.

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Quotes

“This funding commitment is an investment in our future. By boosting support for student-run legal clinics, we are increasing access to justice and helping tomorrow’s legal professionals gain invaluable real-world experience. I applaud Legal Aid Ontario’s leadership on student legal clinics and commitment to providing services to our most vulnerable communities.”

Madeleine Meilleur

Attorney General of Ontario

“Thanks to the Ontario government’s commitment to increase access to legal aid, Legal Aid Ontario can invest in new services for low-income people. The student legal aid clinics serve their communities and help law students experience the satisfaction of hands-on social justice work.”

John McCamus

Chair Legal Aid Ontario

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