Do you think you are being unfairly treated by your employer? Are you going through a divorce or a child custody matter? Or maybe you are having difficulties with your landlord?
Many people experience these types of issues, but not everyone is aware of their legal options. A 2009 Department of Justice report found that over 85 percent of people surveyed did not seek legal help when facing these and other types of problems.
You may be pleased to know, however, that for anyone needing legal assistance in Ontario, The Law Society of Upper Canada provides several free resources.
The quick reference guide, Handling Everyday Legal Problems, is a good place to start. The guide maps out legal information sources and free and low-cost legal service providers. A version of the guide focuses on Indigenous legal services and is available in three First Nation languages, including Cree, Oji-Cree, and Northwestern Ojibway.
You can also access a lawyer or paralegal for a free, up to 30-minute consultation through the Law Society’s Referral Service at www.findlegalhelp.ca. You can ask for a referral to a lawyer or paralegal who speaks your language, or a lawyer who accepts legal aid certificates.
People unable to use the online service, such as those in a shelter, in custody or residing in a remote community without internet access, can call a crisis line which is available during regular business hours at 1-855-947-5255 or 416-947-5255.
The Law Society’s online Lawyer and Paralegal Directory is another useful tool to find legal help and it is searchable by name, location, and legal practice area. If you already have a particular individual in mind, you can check the directory to ensure that person is licensed.
Help is only a click or phone call away. Use these free resources to explore your options. They are all available at www.lsuc.on.ca.