The Law Office of Jennifer Ryan
USEFUL LEGAL LINKS
USEFUL LEGAL LINKS
I accept Legal Aid certificates.
Legal Aid Ontario receives funding from the provincial government to provide legal services to people with low incomes, using both the community legal clinic system and the Legal Aid certificate program. Community legal clinics provide representation and advice on various kinds of legal issues. To receive services from a clinic, you must live in the area it serves. Most clinics and courts also provide brief advice without asking about your financial situation, but only in emergency situations.
If you want a private lawyer but cannot afford one, you may be able to get a Legal Aid certificate if (a) you have little or no money left after you pay for basic necessities, and (b) your legal problem is one that Legal Aid covers.
When you call or visit a Legal Aid office to apply for a certificate (or to a lawyer for a consultation) prepare as much information as possible, including:
- Court papers, if you have been served with any;
- Identification documents;
- Proof of your current income, e.g., recent pay stubs, income tax returns or notice of assessment for previous years; Ontario Works statement of income or Employment Insurance statements;
- Up-to-date bank statements;
- Proof of monthly expenses and bills (rent receipt or mortgage payment, hydro, gas, car payments receipts, credit card statements, car insurance bill);
- Deed for your house; and
- Proof of any unusual expenses, e.g., medical costs or medical/dental/daycare/extra-curricular expenses for the children.
If Legal Aid decides that you have enough money to pay a lawyer yourself, you will not be given a certificate. You may be required to attend at the office with the above-noted documents. However, they may be able to provide you with other services.
Even if you do not qualify for Legal Aid, if you are a lower-income client, you may qualify for discounted fees and retainers from my office (on a sliding scale); please contact me for further information.
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Knowledge is power.