Legal Aid Ontario funds family law services at CLS

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is providing over $2 million over three years to six university-operated legal clinics to provide family law services for low-income Ontarians.

Starting in September Western University’s Community Legal Services (CLS) will receive $303,000 in new funding to provide representation for family law clients in co-operation with LAO’s family law duty counsel. Funds will also be used to support the development and training of students in family law.

CLS has hired a new family lawyer, Jennifer Foster, a Western Law alumna, to head up the area.

“With 60 to 70 per cent of parties in London’s Family Court being self-represented, we have hoped for many years to add family law to our clinic,” says Doug Ferguson, Director of Community Legal Services Clinic. “This grant will allow us to help low income persons, speed up the court process, and train students how to be good lawyers. We are grateful to Legal Aid Ontario for this funding.”

“Family law is one of the greatest areas of need when it comes to accessing justice,” says John McCamus, Chair of LAO. “We believe that law students can help to bridge the growing gaps in legal services – and we are pleased to support these student-run legal clinics to ensure that this happens.”

LAO is funding these projects as a result of $30 million over four years in additional funding announced by the Ontario government in May 2013.