Category Archives: Legal clinics


Tracking legal need in very small areas with the Legal Health Check-Up

The legal health check-up (LHC) is a uniquely valuable tool for documenting unmet legal need at a very fine-grained local level. The LHC questionnaire is administered by community groups and service agencies to people seeking their services. Individuals who request service from the legal clinic are referred to the clinic. The LHC form becomes the basis for a dialogue between the clinic staff and the individual, laying the groundwork for a more holistic and integrated service that would otherwise not have occurred with an intake process focussing on only one presenting problem.


Building bridges through community partnerships

The Legal Aid Ontario professionals who work out of the Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre (DPNCHC) in Toronto’s west end help address the access to justice gap in this community. This is why and how they do it. Amy Slotek, a lawyer with experience in anti-discrimination, international and refugee law, coordinates the Legal Aid Ontario services program at the Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Community Health Care Centre and was co-founder of the first refugee legal aid program in Turkey.


Extending the reach of legal aid – The Halton Legal Health Check-Up project

In an effort to overcome the realties of unmet legal needs in South Western Ontario, the Halton Community Legal Services (HCLS) has created the Legal Health Check-Up project… Ab Currie holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Toronto. He has been conducting policy research on legal aid and other access to justice issues for more than 25 years and has authored about 50 reports, articles and book chapters on access to justice topics.


Connecting Ottawa: Linking people with communications challenges to legal information

When people have difficulty communicating, they have difficulty accessing justice. This is the theme for the recently-established Connecting Ottawa/Connexion Ottawa network. Spearheaded by South Ottawa Community Legal Services (SOCLS), Connecting Ottawa/Connexion Ottawa is comprised of over 42 community agencies across the city. Its goal is to better link agency clients with a communication-related impairment with […]

Viens vivre en Ontario (Come live in Ontario) – Ontario Government Immigration Website supports Francophone newcomers

By Mélissa Loïzou As bilingual counsel at the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic/Clinique juridique communautaire de Hamilton, I have been witness to many changes in the Francophone community in Ontario. Thanks to increased immigration from French-speaking countries, I’ve seen the Francophone population in the Hamilton area steadily grow over time. Within this population, many of our clients […]

Megan Pottage

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

By Megan Pottage In October 2013, I joined Legal Aid Ontario after 12 years of working in the clinic system, most recently as a community legal worker and licensed paralegal in a community legal clinic. My hands-on job familiarized me—intimately—with the pressures faced by the clinic system. Poverty rarely comes alone Ontario’s legal aid 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 “The full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all is an essential element in the global response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.” UN General Assembly, Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, 2 June 2006 Being diagnosed HIV-positive is overwhelming.  Combined with the poverty, stigma and discrimination that it can bring, it can […]