News & Events
Legal aid paper hints at transformation of clinic system
Centralized services, greater use of paralegals, and cutting down on bricks and mortar are all on the agenda as Legal Aid Ontario takes a look at the province's clinic system.
In a discussion paper [http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/news/newsarchive/1205-04_ClinicLawDelivery.asp] released Friday, LAO noted a number of demographic changes that it believes Ontario's legal clinics need to do a better job of adapting to. They include the aging of the population, growth in the working poor, changing geographic location of low-income Ontarians from city centres to the suburbs, and increasing number of aboriginal Ontarians.
"The system must respond to the growing diversity of Ontario's population," the report, which cites the disconnect between the existing system and changing client needs, notes.
LAO released the discussion paper as part of its contribution to the Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario's strategic planning exercise, a process aiming to chart future directions for the system. While LAO's budget for the clinics has increased to about $70 million this year from $37 million in 1998-99, the paper raises concerns about how they're using the money.