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Legal Aid

Andreas Solomos, barrister & solicitor, accepts legal aid certificates issued by Legal Aid Ontario.
Legal Aid Ontario is an independent yet publicly funded and publicly accountable non-profit corporation.
LAO is mandated to give low-income people access to a range of legal services tailored to meet their legal needs. If your case is serious and likely to require the services of a private lawyer, you can apply to LAO to have full representation by a lawyer of your choice.
There are many well-trained, qualified and experienced lawyers who take on legal aid certificates as a service to their community and to assist low income people who need informed and competent legal representation.
The benefits of having full representation by a private lawyer of your choice is that you get to decide who is going to represent you.

To get legal aid services, your legal issue must be one that Legal Aid Ontario covers, and you must be financially eligible. Usually, this means that:
  you have little or no money left after paying for basic things like food and housing, and;
  your legal problem is one that is covered by LAO.

Find out more about legal aid eligibility.
To apply for the certificate program, call Legal Aid Ontario toll-free at 1-800-668-8258.

"Providing legal aid to low-income Canadians is an essential public service. We need to think of it in the same way we think of health care or education. The wellbeing of our justice system-and the public's confidence in it-depends on it."
   Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin
   Supreme Court of Canada

Legal Aid Ontario encourages lawyers in private practice, such as sole practitioners and small firms, to do legal aid work.
The following is an excerpt from LAO's web page:
"Interested in doing legal aid work?
As you consider the first steps of your legal career, take a look at what legal aid work can offer.
Legal aid work is a rewarding alternative to large corporate firms, and offers significant benefits to new lawyers; including contributing to the improvement of Ontario's justice system by helping disadvantaged people. Doing legal aid work is an excellent way to make professional contacts and gain courtroom experience. For many lawyers, the flexibility of legal aid work is an attractive career and lifestyle choice".

Many lawyers with a lot of courtroom experience continue to do legal aid work as LOA put it "a lifestyle choice."
Legal Aid Ontario is committed to ensuring that all clients receive high quality legal services. That is why it has implemented Panel Standards which lawyers must meet.
Legal Aid Ontario has implemented eight panel standards, which include minimum experience and professional development requirements. The standards were developed in consultation with members of the refugee, criminal and family bars as well as lawyers practicing before the Consent and Capacity Board, judges, lawyers' associations and the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Ongoing annual professional development is necessary to continue to maintain panel membership.
Due to his ongoing participation  in professional development and over 25 years of practice in family, criminal and child welfare law, Andreas Solomos, Barrister and Solicitor, BBM; J.D, is approved by LAO to be a member of the following standards:
Criminal panel standards;
Family panel Standards; and
Child and Family Services Act (CFSA) sub-panel standards

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