Services

Community legal clinics provide a variety of services including legal advice, legal representation, public legal education, advocacy training and community organising. We also carry out law reform initiatives.

Areas of Legal Service:

  • Tenant Rights (TPA)
  • Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) (excluding the Dundurn Clinic)
  • Ontario Works (OW)
  • Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
  • Employment Insurance (EI)
  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
  • Disability Issues
  • Human Rights
  • Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB)
  • Employment Standards
  • Debtor/Creditor

We do NOT do criminal, family or immigration law. This work is handled by private bar lawyers on legal aid certificates. More information on the legal aid certificate program is found in Community Resources.

Advice: We give free legal advice on the telephone or by appointment in the areas of law listed above. We normally do not ask income information when giving advice.

Representation: We represent financially eligible individuals and sometimes groups in the areas of law listed above. Staff determine eligibility by asking about income and assets. We represent people at hearings before a number of tribunals including the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal, the Social Benefits Tribunal (for Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program), the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board and Appeals Tribunal, the Board of Referees and Umpire (for employment insurance appeals), the Review Tribunal and Pension Appeals Board (for CPP-Disability) and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. We also appear in appeal courts for these matters.

Public Legal Education: We frequently speak to client groups and agency staff about our areas of practice and advocacy work. We encourage people to contact us to discuss their needs. We are happy to tailor presentations to the audience. We also produce legal education materials such as fact sheets and advocacy articles. Our quarterly newsletter "Community Legal Facts/FAX" is found under Facts Sheets and Publications along with other materials. A "Survival Guide to Housing" is available along with brochures at the clinics in several languages. A housing video is also soon available. For more information on community legal education publications see Community Legal Education Ontario under Related Links.

Community Organising: An important part of our work is community development. We assist groups to enforce their legal rights by organising for a common cause. An example is helping tenants in a building to establish a tenants' association to address repair or rent issues. Staff are involved in a number of community coalitions working on systemic issues, particularly around housing and homelessness such as the Solutions for Housing Action Committee. Another area of focus has been with injured workers. Again, we encourage contact from individuals, groups and agencies to discuss their needs.

Law Reform: Often there is a need to change laws, regulations, policies and practices that are unfair and penalise and/or discriminate against members of the community. Our law reform efforts include written and oral submissions to governments of all levels, legal challenges and lobbying/education campaigns conducted through community organising.