Happy blog birthday to us! Celebrating our first year.

We’re celebrating this blog’s one-year birthday, and (at the risk of being self-congratulatory,) happy birthday to us!

We didn’t get here alone. We’re thankful to every guest author who has contributed to this blog, every person and organization who has shared our posts online, and every visitor who’s joined our growing audience.

Thank you for reading, commenting, and encouraging us with your feedback and return visits.

The year in blogs

To mark the occasion, here’s a roundup of some of the most viewed and shared posts from the past year, arranged by category.

Category: Access to Justice


Victory at the Ontario Court of Appeal protects rights of people receiving social assistance

By Legal Aid Ontario

This post was published hot on the heels of a major Ontario Court of Appeals victory that came to an important decision: ODSP payments can, at times, be waived. The piece highlighted the collaborative work of Income Security Advocacy Centre, ARCH Disability Law Centre, METRAC and Parkdale Legal Services in achieving this outcome.

Dr Julie MacFarlane

Fire in the hole – why every lawyer needs to care about access to justice

By Dr Julie MacFarlane

Originally published on Dr. MacFarlane’s personal blog, this call to action demanded that everyone in the legal profession consider their part in promoting access to justice. A law professor at the University of Windsor and professor of practice at the University of Notre Dame, Dr. MacFarlane has worked extensively with self-represented litigants.

Category: Aboriginal

2014 Dare to Dream Program – First Nations School of Toronto

Inspiring new dreams for Aboriginal youth

By Fallon Melander

Fallon Melander, Aboriginal Policy Counsel at Legal Aid Ontario, originally wrote this post for the Dare to Dream, Canadian Lawyers Abroad blog. Fallon shared some of her personal history to provide background for why her work with Dare to Dream is so meaningful for her. She used this context to delve into why support for Aboriginal youth to dream is vitally important.

Category: Legal clinics

Megan Pottage

An insider’s perspective on the community legal clinic system challenges

By Megan Pottage

Prior to joining LAO, Megan Pottage worked in the clinic system for 12 years, gaining intimate familiarity with the clinic system and the challenges clients face in their day-to-day lives. In this post Megan wrote about the compound barriers that come with poverty, and the multiple-pronged mandate of community legal clinics.

HIV/AIDS ribbon on a blue background --- symbole de la lutte contre le VIH/sida, sur fond bleu

Ryan Peck: HIV/AIDS and the need for specialized services

By Ryan Peck

Did you know that 16 per cent of Canadians feel afraid of people living with HIV/AIDS? Ryan Peck is the executive director of the HIV and AIDS Legal Clinic of Ontario (HALCO). He contributed this post about the harm of stigmatizing people living with HIV/AIDS, and the importance of specialized services in working with this community.

Category: Mental health

Mental Health Strategy

Access to justice and the need for a mental health strategy

By Ryan Fritsch

We synchronized the timing of this post with the launch of LAO’s Mental Health Strategy. It was a window into some of the challenges people with mental health issues face when interacting with the justice system.

Category: Domestic violence

Jeff Perera

The importance of working with men and boys to end violence against women

By Jeff Perera

We posted this piece during the annual 16 days campaign to end gender-based violence, along with a piece about Canada’s national day of remembrance and action on violence against women. This post detailed the White Ribbon Campaign’s approach of working with men and boys to end violence against women. Jeff Perera is the community engagement manager for the White Ribbon Campaign.

A few blog stats

  • In April 2014, our blog was visited over 1,300 times.
  • Over the course of those visits, nearly 6,000 pages were viewed, at an average of 4 posts per visit.
  • The blog typically publishes one post per week (sometimes two)

Looking ahead

What would you like to see on the blog?

Got something to say?

While we’ve always been open to receiving outside work, now we have a submissions page where you can find out everything you need to know about writing for the LAO blog.

Though we do not provide compensation for writing, you retain rights to your own work to republish at will, and we’re not the least bit deterred by work having been already published.

And that’s a wrap

Thank you again for supporting the LAO blog. We’ll meet you back here for our next birthday.