Our Services - Frequently Asked Questions
Do you issue Legal Aid
What if I need an emergency legal aid
certificate because I am a victim
of domestic violence?
How much do your services cost?
How do I qualify for your help?
What kind of community
development work do you do?
What kind of law reform work do
How do I get help from legal
What if I don't have a phone?
Can I see a lawyer or legal
worker right away?
What if you can't help me?
1. Do you issue
Legal Aid certificates?
We do not issue Legal Aid
Legal Aid Ontario to see if you qualify for a
2. What if I need an
emergency Legal Aid certificate because I am a victim of domestic violence?
We can issue special
certificates for up to 2 hours of emergency legal advice for victims of
Legal Aid Ontario also offers the same service.
3. How much do your
All our services are free.
We give free legal
information and advice on the telephone or by appointment. We
encourage people to call first.
Clients, where able, may be asked to pay for out of
pocket legal disbursements such as
court filing fees and medical reports.
4. How do I qualify for
Information and advice is provided to most callers. Legal representation is provided only to
people within our financial guidelines. You must also live within the
counties of Hastings, Prince Edward or Lennox & Addington.
The clinic sets priorities
annually for representation in legal matters.
is promoted and encouraged.
5. What kind of
community development work do you do?
Clinic staff work with community groups and individuals on issues of concern to people
living on a low income in many different ways. We are currently
involved in various special projects, including:
Click a project name above for more
information or go to our
Community Development page
6. What kind of law reform work do you
We advocate for positive changes to laws affecting people
living on a low income in our community.
Law reform activities can include:
creating awareness about the need for law reform and systemic injustice
working with groups on law reform
meeting and working with government departments to improve their service
delivery to poor and disadvantaged groups
writing to and meeting with politicians at the municipal, provincial and
federal levels of government
linking our clients and community to law reform initiatives in other
preparing briefs and submissions to
appellate work and test case litigation
Go to our
page for more information and how you can help.
7. How do I get help from
legal clinic staff?
phone our legal clinic for help from
Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We use a voice mail
answering system so that we can serve you better. Your call is very
important to us - please don't be discouraged by the voice mail! You can
just press "0" to bypass the welcoming message and speak to a staff member
who can help you. Usually your call will be answered immediately, unless it
is a Thursday morning. Thursday mornings are reserved for staff and team
meetings and we do not provide reception and intake services from 9:00 a.m.
to 1:00 p.m. However, if you have an emergency, we screen calls on
Thursday mornings or you can drop into our Belleville office for help.
For most callers, we are able to provide information and
referrals within one hour, and if necessary, book an appointment to either
speak to or see one of our staff - lawyer or legal worker - usually within a week.
8. What if I don't have a
Many of our clients don't have phones. You are not alone.
If you can't use a friend or family member's phone, you
can use a public phone and dial our 1-877-966-8686 number
and you won't have to pay for the call. Or if you need to, you can
"drop in" to our Belleville office.
We do discourage "drop ins" at our
satellite office locations as our
schedule for staffing these offices tends to change based on demand,
availability of staff, and the scheduling of hearings in our satellite
areas. So please try to call first. You don't want to have to
make a trip only to find the office closed.
9. Can I see a lawyer or
legal worker right away?
We have organized our
services so that we "triage" based on urgency. "Triage" means we try
to deal with problems in the order of how serious they are rather than on a
"first come, first served" basis. This is because if we don't deal
with some issues right away, like having no money for food or rent, or being
threatened with eviction, very serious consequences can result and cause
great harm to our callers.
So if there is no pending
legal hearing, or you have enough time to file an appeal or court documents,
your problem could get less priority.
10. What if you can't
We'll try to refer you to
someone who can. Please see our
Referrals page for some ideas of where else you can go for help.
We have a great chart called
Where Else to Go for Help that contains referrals on many issues.
You can also call the
Law Society Referral Service provided by the Law Society. This call is now
free of charge. They will refer you to a local
lawyer or licenced paralegal for a free half-hour consultation. Call 1-800-268-8326.
We are also working with
local private bar lawyers on a Pro Bono Project.