Our clinic provides a variety of services including legal advice & referrals, legal representation, public legal education, community development and law reform. We provide service to individuals, groups and communities. Our intent with all advocacy efforts is to bring about change that will impact the entire community.
Areas of Law we deal with
- Tenant Rights
- Workers’ Compensation (WSIB)
- Ontario Works (OW)
- Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
- Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
- Employment Insurance (EI)
- Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB)
- Employment Standards (referrals only)
- Human Rights
- Consumer Protection (referrals only)
- Notary Services
- Looking for a Will?
We represent financially eligible individuals and sometimes groups in the areas of law listed above. Our staff asks about income and assets to determine your eligibility. Our services are free.
Clients, where able, may be asked to pay for out of pocket legal disbursements such as medical reports and court filing fees.
Advice & Referrals
We give free legal advice when you call us or walk into our office, in the areas of law listed above. We normally do not ask income information when giving advice. Sometimes we will need to make an appointment for you with a member of staff to talk about your concerns.
Call us or click Apply for Service to send us an online application. We try to answer your questions the same day you contact us.
If you contact us about a legal problem that we cannot help with, we will send you to the appropriate place to get help. This is called a referral. For referrals and information on other services and community resources in Hamilton call 211. It is a free service.
211 is an easy-to remember three digit phone number providing free, confidential access to information about the full range of non emergency community, social, health and government services in the community.
We represent people at hearings before a number of tribunals including:
- The Landlord and Tenant Board
- The Social Benefits Tribunal (for Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program)
- The Workplace Safety & Insurance Board and Appeals Tribunal
- The Board of Referees and Umpire (for employment insurance appeals)
- The Review Tribunal and Pension Appeals Board (for CPP)
- The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.
We also appear in provincial and federal appeal courts for these matters. You must be financially eligible for this service.
Public Legal Education
We're available to speak to client groups and agency staff about our areas of practice and advocacy work. We encourage people to contact us to discuss their needs. We are happy to tailor presentations to the audience. We also produce legal education materials such as fact sheets, advocacy articles, power point presentations and information on this web site.
New public legal education initiatives are frequently being identified. Some examples of our public legal education initiatives include: working with the Hamilton Tenant Outreach and Information Project to broaden its community development scope; working with the Hamilton District Injured Workers Group in conducting advice clinics; and implementing the "Discrimination Is Against The Law” human rights project.
For more information on community legal education publications see Community Legal Education Ontario under Getting Other Legal Help in Hamilton.
An important part of our work is community development. Two members of staff are dedicated to working with community groups and partners to improve life in Hamilton. We assist groups to enforce their legal rights by organizing for a common cause. We often work with tenants to start a tenants' association to deal with repair or rent issues. We also belong to networks, especially those that help tenants like the Coalition for Residential Care Facilities and Solutions to Housing Action Committee (SHAC). A focus of this work is to combat poverty, by working with community to improve housing conditions and increase income for all.
We encourage you to contact us to talk about how we can collaborate to tackle issues important to Hamilton. Please look to see what we are involved in by checking out Make Change on this site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and our Community Development Blog.
Often there is a need to change laws, regulations, policies and practices that are unfair and penalize and/or discriminate against members of the community. Our law reform efforts include written and oral submissions to governments of all levels, legal challenges and lobbying/education campaigns conducted through community partners.
We have been working with the community to lobby for an effective provincial long term affordable housing strategy and, at the local level, for better enforcement of licensing by-laws and regulations. Please contact us to talk about how we can collaborate on issues important to Hamilton.
What we do not do
We do not do criminal, family or immigration law. This work is handled by Private Bar lawyers on legal aid certificates. More information on the Legal Aid Certificate Program is found in Getting Other Legal Help in Hamilton
If you are dissatisfied with our services, you have a right to complain. To find out more information about complaints and how to complain, please click here.