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Do I Need a Lawyer?

There are times when getting help from a lawyer is appropriate.  On this web site, we will provide you with information about the situations in which you might need a lawyer...

for advice;

to argue on your behalf in a Tribunal or Court setting; or

to assist in preparing a human right’s complaint.

As mentioned, other people in the community can help you to understand your rights and the rights of your child.

If you think you need to talk a lawyer right now, and you cannot afford a lawyer, the following is a list of legal organizations that may be able to provide assistance.  Clicking on the name of the organization will take you to their web site where you can find their contact information.

Legal Aid Ontario

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) helps to provide legal services to low-income individuals and families.  LAO runs a certificate program that provides legal vouchers to low-income people for a range of legal services in such areas as criminal law, family law, and immigration law.

If your child has been expelled from school, or you are a student that has been expelled you may be eligible for a LAO certificate.  You can take this certificate to a lawyer to pay for legal services.

Justice for Children and Youth

Justice for Children and Youth (JFCY) is a specialty legal clinic located in Toronto that deals with legal issues of children and youth.

The Child Advocacy Project

The Child Advocacy Project (CAP) is a registered project of Pro Bono Law Ontario.  The purpose of CAP is to defend the education rights of children and youth across Ontario. The volunteer lawyers who take CAP cases are experienced and trained in Education Law. 

CAP lawyers provide free legal services to:

  • Students who are involved in the Special Education process
  • Children and youth who are at risk of being suspended or expelled
  • Children and youth who are being denied the right to enroll in school

This service is only available to families with low incomes.

Hamilton’s Community Legal Clinics

Hamilton’s community legal clinics are funded by Legal Aid Ontario to provide legal services for low-income individuals and families.  The lawyers and legal workers at these clinics do not get directly involved in education law issues.  The clinics can, however, help you to find support and advice by directing you to other community agencies that provide assistance and information to parents.  They may also be able to assist you in filing a human right’s complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

Lawyer Referral Service

The Law Society Referral Service can help you determine your rights and options. You can access the service by calling 1-855-947-5255 or visiting There is no fee for this service.

Human Rights Legal Support Centre

The Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC) is an independent agency funded by the Government of Ontario that provides legal services to people who have experienced discrimination on human rights grounds. The HRLSC provides advice to individuals about their legal rights and remedies and can provide assistance with making a human rights complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. You can access this service by calling: 1-866-625-5179

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