Western Law

Community Legal Services

Community Legal Services provides free legal advice and representation to members of the community, and to Fanshawe College and Western students. We are funded by Legal Aid Ontario, Fanshawe Student's Council, the University Students Council, and Faculty of Law. Community Legal Services would also like to thank the Law Foundation of Ontario for their continued financial support.

Over 200 students work in our clinic over the course of the academic year under the supervision of five experienced lawyers.

LEGAL AID

Legal Aid is available to low income individuals and disadvantaged communities for a variety of legal problems, including criminal matters, family disputes, immigration and refugee hearings and poverty law issues such as landlord/tenant disputes, disability support and family benefits payments.

In 1998, the Ontario government enacted the Legal Aid Services Act in which the province renewed and strengthened its commitment to legal aid. The Act established Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), an independent but publicly funded and publicly accountable non-profit corporation, to administer the province’s legal aid program.

OUR OBLIGATIONS 

LAO’s mandate in the Legal Aid Services Act, 1998 is to "promote access to justice throughout Ontario for low-income individuals by means of providing consistently high quality legal aid services in a cost-effective and efficient manner."

OUR SERVICES 

LAO services are carefully targeted to meet diverse client needs and make the most efficient use of our resources. Poverty law services - such as helping people to obtain or maintain social assistance benefits - are delivered through a network of 79 independent, community-based legal aid clinics, funded by LAO.

LAO also runs a certificate program through its network of 51 offices. Here LAO issues certificates, which low-income people use to retain a private lawyer to represent them in proceedings before the criminal or family courts, certain administrative tribunals or immigration/refugee boards. The certificate is the private lawyer’s guarantee of payment from LAO, subject to the rates and limitations set out in the legal aid tariff.

We also provide duty counsel services – performed by staff and private-sector lawyers – for people who arrive in criminal, family or youth courts without a lawyer.

For more information and how to contact them, please contact Legal Aid Ontario


Criminal Law and Provincial Offences

Potential clients must meet our financial guidelines.

We represent clients who are charged with less serious criminal charges (called summary conviction charges) under the Criminal Code of Canada or the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

We will also represent clients where the matter involves tickets worth six points or more, as well as charges under other provincial statutes and some City of London by-law offences.

We only represent persons who are not eligible to receive a legal aid certificate from the Legal Aid Area Office.

Young persons under age 18 will only be accepted as client after they have applied for and been denied Legal Aid. These clients will be required to bring with them a Notice of Refusal from Legal Aid before we will accept them.

Landlord and Tenant

Potential clients must meet our financial guidelines

CLS represents tenants (under the residential tenancy act) in matters such as:

Hearings for these disputes are held either in the Landlord Tenant Board or in the Small Claims Court


Small Claims Court

Potential clients must meet our financial guidelines

We represent clients in Small Claims Court matters where the amount in dispute is more than $2,500.00 and less than $25,000.00.   If we cannot represent someone, we refer them to ohter community resources.

Wills and Powers of Attorney

We complete wills and powers of attorney for low-income seniors and persons with an illness or disability in London-Middlesex.

Academic Appeals

CLS will represent UWO students in their academic appeals. However, our role is limited to representing clients before the Senate Appeal Committee, which is the final step in the appeal process. We also assist Fanshawe College students with academic appeals

Intellectual Property

CLS will advise and represent clients on copyright, privacy and confidentiality matters.  CLS will provide advice in patent and trademark law.  CLS will not register a patent or trademark.

Family Law

Potential clients must meet our financial guidelines.  their matter must also fall within the jurisdiction of the London Family Court.  Those who are not accepted will be provided with summary advice, where possible, and/or a referral to another service or agency.

Law students, under the supervision of a family lawyer, can provide assistance with the following issues:

Students may also be able to assist individuals to obtain a divorce or a restraining order if they are also experiencing the issues listed above.

Our student caseworkers can help individuals identify their family law issues before and after court proceedings have started to determine the most appropriate course of action.  Student caseowrkers will then work on behalf of the clients and provide the following services

Clients are responsible for their own court filing fees and disbursement costs.

Unfortunately, at this time, we are not able to assist individuals with the following matters:

Community Mediation Services

These services are provided by our Dispute Resolution Centre


Immigration: For UWO Students Only

We assist UWO students with Permanent Resident Applications and Skilled Worker Applications

Those seeking assistance with these matters are required to attend a workshop.  They are held monthly and potential clients must pre-resigter online is available at:  http://grad.uwo.ca/events/clsscheduler/index.cfm .


Notarial Services for Affidavits, and Statutory Declarations, and Certified Copies, etc.

Most affidavits, statutory declarations, consent to travel forms and other application forms can usually be witnessed by a Commissioner of Oaths.  If your document requires a Commissioner, no appointment is required.  You must provide valid edentification such as a drivers licence or passport.  Do not sign the document until you are standing in front of the Commissioner of Notary Publid.  Fees are listed below.

Documents for other countries or any other document requiring  a Notary Public signature requires an appointment.  Call 519-66-3352 to set up an appointment.

Certified true copies must be certified by a Notary Public.  Bring the original document to the office.  You will be required to leave the document.  Do not bring copies.  For accuracy and authenticity, it is our policy to make all copies.  Your certified copy will be ready in 2-5 days. 

Rates:

Students and Seniors: $10.00 (per signature).

Non-Students (Faculty, Staff, Public): $20.00 (per signature)

RUSH: If you want the copies done immediately the cost will be double.

Public Legal Education

Started in 2004, our Public Legal Education (PLE) program is aimed at social agencies and non-profit organizations, their staffs, and their clients. We will appear at seminars to provide information on legal issues they face day-to-day. As well, we produce newspaper columns for local newspapers and conduct special programs for youth in the community.

CLE@CLS

We provide continuing legal education opportunities to new members of the Bar (up to 2 years call). Read more

Criminal Injuries Compensation Claim

Potential clients must meet our financial guidelines.  We assist victims of crime with applicaitons to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.

Human Rights

Potential clients must meet our financial guidelines.  We assist with claims under the Ontario Human rights Act.