The Law Foundation of Ontario

The Law Foundation of Ontario (LFO) is a non-profit corporation established by provincial statute in 1974.  It has a unique mandate to help more people understand the law and use it to improve their lives. 

Enhanced access to justice, particularly for disadvantaged groups, is an underlying objective of all of the LFO’s work.  It makes carefully selected grants and provides other support to groups with relevant mandates, supports excellence on the part of legal professionals, and promotes the pursuit of careers in public interest law.

The LFO is primarily funded by the interest from the mixed trust accounts into which Ontario lawyers and paralegals deposit funds they hold in trust for clients.  By law, 75% of the net interest from mixed trust accounts goes automatically to Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), which is the provincial government agency that provides legal assistance to low-income Ontarians.

The LFO also administers the Class Proceedings Fund, established with an LFO endowment in 1993 to support pursuit of class actions in the public interest; and operates the Access to Justice Fund, established in late 2009 with proceeds from a class action and launched in 2010 to improve specific aspects of access to justice across Canada. 

Further information on all of these initiatives, including application procedures, is available on the LFO web site.