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Community Legal Clinic Transformation Projects

Provincial & Inter-Regional Projects

1. The Boldness Project: Rural and Remote Access to Justice

The Rural and Remote Project is led by four participating community legal clinics and is intended to lead the way and lead the world in inclusive justice in rural and remote communities.  The goals and objectives are as follows:

  • To create local “possibility space” and research & development that generate ideas for the delivery of legal services to rural and remote clients to transform client outcomes
  • To identify and prototype ideas for rural/remote service delivery and to determine actions that can be applied and/or adapted for use by other legal clinics
  • To build sustainable R&D capacity and breakthrough thinking in rural and remote communities to address access to justice outcomes.

Project Lead: Trudy McCormick (NWCLC)
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website:
Clinic Staff Link: www.legalclinicresources.ca\Boldness
Participating Clinics:

2. KnowledgeNow

Knowledge management initiative to develop knowledge sharing practices and deeper collaboration among community legal clinics across Ontario.

Project Lead: Paul Pinkerton
Association of Commnity Legal Clinics of Ontario (ACLCO)
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website:
www.aclco.org/Knowledge_Now.html

3. OPICCO: Thinking Upstream: Community Development is part of Transformation
Facilitate better understanding of how the transformation process may impact community development within the clinic system by increasing knowledge on recent campaigns, victories and community development tools available to clinics.

Project Coordinators:
Helen Lu (Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario)
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: www.OPICCO.org

4. Clinic Websites Project

Developing a shared content management system for clinic websites to enhance services and PLEI delivery

Project Lead: Julie Matthews
Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: www.CLEO.on.ca

5. Clinic Interview Partnership

Clinic Interview Partnership is a project to expand community legal clinic services through the design, develop, and pilot of interactive software (“Interviews”) that increases the capacity of community legal clinics to serve their community.

Project Lead: Erik Bornmann
CLC Simcoe, Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: www.CommunityLegalClinic.com
Clinic Staff Link: www.legalclinicresources.ca/A2J

This project is a provincial partnership of a number of clinics guided by a steering committee.

6. CLEO – Your Legal Rights

Your Legal Rights is a website of legal information for people in Ontario.  This site has free, practical, and easy-to-find legal information produced by hundreds of organizations in Ontario.

Project Lead: Fiona McCool
Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: http://www.cleo.on.ca/en/projects/your-legal-rights
www.yourlegalrights.on.ca

7. Trans* Legal Needs Assessment

HALCO is leading the Trans* Legal Needs Assessment (Ontario) project to help ensure that the legal needs of trans* people in Ontario are being met and determine the barriers that trans* people face in accessing justice. “Trans*” is an umbrella term referring to people whose gender identity or gender expression is not reflected by the gender assigned to them at birth. The Trans* Legal Needs Assessment (Ontario) is a three-year province-wide project to:
assess the legal needs of transgender (trans*) community members, and the needs of lawyers/legal service providers in serving trans* clients; conduct education and information sessions with trans community members as well as lawyers/legal service providers in cities around Ontario; and identify barriers to accessing justice and make recommendations to improve access to justice and substantive justice for trans* Ontarians.

Project Contact: Ryan Peck
HIV/ AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO)
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: http://www.halco.org/our-services/trans-legal-needs-assessment-ontario.

8. ACLCO Policy Counsel

The Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario (ACLCO) has recently expanded its services for clinics to include a policy counsel position intended to support Ontario’s clinics, to foster clinic collaboration and coordination, and to facilitate clinic dialogue across regions and provincially.

Policy Counsel: Ivana Petricone
Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario (ACLCO)
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: www.aclco.org/PolicyCounsel.html

9. Provincial Learning and Training
The Provincial Learning and Training Committee has recently instituted a Webinar program, providing monthly learning sessions via web conference, for clinics.

Contact: Marnie Hayes, Clinic Learning & Development Consultant
Quality Services Office, Legal Aid Ontario
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: TheSource/Committees/PLAC

Southwest Region

10. South West Transformation Project

The South West Transformation Project is a series of clinic led initiatives helping reshape how the SW Clinics deliver services and work together for streamlined administrative support.

Project Team Chair: Jim Sykes
Justice Niagara
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: www.swrtransformation.ca (coming soon)

11. South West Region-wide Needs and Resources Assessment
This project aims to combine quantitative and qualitative evidence-based research to produce a solid base of information about current and future needs and resources to support the development of innovative and appropriate service delivery models.

Project Lead: Walter Van de Kleut
Chatham-Kent Legal Clinic
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: www.swtransformation.ca (coming soon)

12. Virtual Support Network Project (VISN)

The primary goal of this project is to create efficiencies that can be reinvested into direct client service by means of a network for streamlining and supporting administrative functions.

Project Lead: Anthea Millikin
Legal Clinic of Guelph and Wellington County
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: www.swrtransformation.ca (coming soon)

13. South West Transformation Coordination
This component of the Project aims to create a culture of greater coordination and partnership thus strengthening the ability of participating clinics to deliver poverty law services effectively. The “learning lab” innovation model will be followed using evidence based client/community needs.  The Project will create and support opportunities for integration where that would improve community based client services.

Project Lead: Andrew Bolter
Community Legal Assistance Sarnia
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: www.swrtransformation.ca (coming soon)

14. Legal Health Check-up

This project focuses on increasing access to justice by vulnerable individuals and families by developing a legal health check-up mobile web-based tool to screen for clients’ legal and non-legal needs; using the data to inform planning, coordination and collaboration amongst clinics; modernizing intake processes; developing and implementing strategies using partnerships.

Project Lead: Colleen Sym
Halton Community Legal Services
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: www.legalhealthcheckup.ca

The project has now expanded to 3 other pilot sites:

 

 

15. Wrap Around Project
Pilot Project on the role of social workers in legal clinic service delivery.

Project Lead:  Shannon Down
Waterloo Region Community Legal Services
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: www.swrtransformation.ca (coming soon)

16. Baamsedaa: Let’s Walk Together Program

This program was developed to provide appropriate assistance through agencies that understand the “Aboriginal experience” so people do not continue to fall into the cycle of homelessness and poverty, and might be more apt to access or seek justice. Understanding culture, dialogue, Aboriginal identity, and spirituality along with being non-judgmental and relatable is essential to engage clients. Baamsedaa is based on these beliefs, along with the reality of other barriers such as the difficulty of travel for on-reserve individuals.

Project Leads: Andrew Bolter & Jeff Plain
Community Legal Assistance Sarnia
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: Facebook - Baamsedaa/CLAS

Specialty Clinics

17. Specialty Legal Clinics Modernization Initiative

A number of Ontario’s specialty community legal clinics along with the Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario have been exploring the feasibility of a co-location model. The clinics anticipate that co-location will promote further collaboration and information exchange amongst the clinics, enhance capacity for systemic work, enable collective investment in improved information technology, reduce overall leasing costs, and co-ordinate planning to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of administrative systems.

The project is led by a steering committee comprised of staff representing 5 of the participating specialty clinics and is supported by Michael Kennedy, Project Manager.

Project Lead: Michael Kennedy
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: www.specialtylegalclinics.ca

Participating clinics: 
Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario
Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario
ARCH Disability Law Centre
Canadian Environmental Law Association
HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario
Industrial Accidents Victims Group Ontario
Income Security Advocacy Centre
Justice for Children and Youth
Landlords Self-Help Centre

Greater Toronto Area

18. GTA Clinics Transformation

The GTA Clinics critically examined the current structure of clinic law services in the GTA to determine whether shifting demographics and changing client needs requires new ways of delivering services to both better meet the legal needs of the low income community and ensure that the services are more equally accessible.

GTA clinics are engaged in several initiatives and dialogue to give shape to new and collaborative ways of ensuring the needs of their communities are met.

Project Lead: none at present
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: none at present

19. St. Michael’s Hospital Medical/ Legal Partnership

ARCH Disability Law Centre - in partnership with Neighborhood Legal Services, HIV and AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario, Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto and several other legal clinics - has received project funding from Legal Aid Ontario and has hired a lawyer and administrative assistant to be based onsite and work collaboratively with the Family Health Team of St. Michael's Hospital in downtown Toronto.

The lawyer provides direct legal advice and referrals to patients of the Family Health Team, legal education to patients and healthcare providers, and leads advocacy initiatives for systemic change aimed to promote the health of patients.

Project Leads: Robert Lattanzio and Johanna Macdonald
ARCH Disability Law Centre
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: ARCH Disability Law Centre

Participating Clinics:

East & Central Region

20. East and Central Region Community Legal Clinics Transformation Project

The East and Central Community Legal Clinics Transformation Project involves conducting a comprehensive needs assessment of the entire region. The participating clinics have committed to transformation that will be based on community needs assessments, the development of innovative service delivery models, and a joint clinic determination regarding reallocating existing resources to  support direct  client service initiatives.

Eleven community legal clinics located in the central and eastern region are participating in the needs assessment. The project is governed by a steering committee comprised of staff representing all 10 of the participating clinics.

Project Lead: Richard Owen
Renfrew County Legal Clinic
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: www.ecrtp.ca

Participating clinics: 

21. The Ottawa Legal Clinics Transformation Project

The three general service clinics serving the City of Ottawa are exploring the possibilities for transforming the way in which clinic law services are delivered across the city.  Community Legal Services Ottawa Centre, South Ottawa Community Legal Services and West End Legal Services have a successful history of working towards increasing access to justice for low income people in Ottawa through creative programming and partnerships.

Through the Ottawa Legal Clinics Transformation Project, the three clinics have been conducting an in-depth review of their service delivery systems, their communities' needs and best practices, to learn more about what is working well, where there are barriers to access, and ways in which they can collaborate to remove those barriers. The goal of the project is to consider the best way to maximize service delivery to provide clinic law services in the City of Ottawa. The project involves conducting a comprehensive and consultative needs assessment to ensure evidence-based decisions inform any new clinic law services delivery model.

Project Leads:
Gary Stein, South Ottawa Community Legal Services
Charles McDonald, Community Legal Services Ottawa Centre
Jacques Chartrand, West End Legal Services

More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website:
English: http://www.ottawaclinics.ca
French: http://www.cliniques-juridiques-ottawa.ca

The project is governed by a steering committee comprised of board and staff of the participating clinics. More information is available from the executive directors of the participating clinics:

22. Connecting Ottawa

The aim of Connecting Ottawa is to improve access to justice for linguistic minorities; people who are not proficient in English or French or who face communication challenges as the result of a disability or sensory impairment.
Low income and vulnerable clients who present with a legal issue often have complex cases that benefit from coordinated intervention by legal and social services. The program takes a holistic approach and draws upon strengths that already exist within network of over 40 community health, legal, immigration, disability, and social services agencies. Connecting Ottawa addresses the compounded barriers faced by linguistic minorities.

Project Contact:  Gary Stein
South Ottawa Community Legal Services
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: www.connectingottawa.com

23. Five County Network

Together five clinics serving Eastern Ontario have come together to provide increasing legal literacy, create greater community capacity, improve legal service delivery, leverage new resources and share knowledge.

The project was highlighted in a spring 2015 presentation to the East Region Staff Learning Conference: https://prezi.com/e_d1bdgrl0kp/big-t-little-t-transformation-regl-local-innovation/

Project Contact: Michele Leering
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: www.communitylegalcentre.ca/connectingregions

The five clinics participating in this Network are:

24. The Legal Clinic

Two clinics serving rural Eastern Ontario: Rural Legal Services and Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Clinic have merged to form The Legal Clinic.  The new clinic has undertaken a Business Process Review and has undertaken to facilitate more accessible Family Law Services in Frontenac.

Project Lead: Ronald Cronkhite
The Legal Clinic
More Info: Project Summary Document
Clinic Website: www.legalclinic.ca

25. Northern Region Transformation Project

The 11 Northern Clinics are exploring ways to work collaboratively with each other and improve services and support to their clients and communities, including finding administrative savings to reinvest into client services.

Project Lead: Trudy McCormick
Northwest Community Legal Clinic
More Info: Project Summary Document
Project Website: www.northwestcommunitylegalclinic.ca
26. Paralegal SLASS – Student Legal Aid Services Societies

This project involves three clinics: Northumberland Community Legal Centre, Community Advocacy & Legal Centre, Community Legal Clinic – Simcoe, Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, and three colleges: Sir Sandford Fleming, Durham, Loyalist, with two on-campus SLASS sites brought on-stream where students are supervised by Review Counsel. The Paralegal SLASS project will provide assistance to community legal clinics, clients and courts, as well as assistance and benefits to the student population.

Project Lead: Lois Cromarty
Northumberland Community Legal Centre
More Info: Project Summary Document
Clinic Website: www.thehelpcentre.ca

27. ACTO Kiosk Project

The Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO) provides and funds clinics to provide Tenant Duty Counsel Program (TDCP) services at Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) locations across the province. ACTO is piloting a project in the GTA to test out the use of kiosks at the LTB to support paperless operations at TDC locations. ACTO is investigating the use of kiosks province wide.

Project Lead: Camelia Beyan
Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario/ Tenant Duty Counsel Program
More Info: Project Summary Document

28. Online Immigration and Refugee Law Tool Project

Online Immigration and Refugee Law Tool Project (the “BOC”) is a project to create an interactive web-based interview tool that elicits the relevant information from a client to complete a draft Refugee Basis of Claim application.

Parkdale Community Legal Services is leading the BOC project with assistance from the Clinic IP project. Legal Aid Ontario’s Refugee Law Office (“LAO-RLO”) and Rexdale Community Legal Clinic are also participating in the BOC project, providing feedback on the design and/or piloting the online tool. Once finished, the online tool will be available at no cost to interested community legal clinics and LAO.

Project Lead:Nancy Henderson
Parkdale Community Legal Services
More Info: Project Summary Document

29. Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program/ Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Toronto Workers' Health and Safety Legal Clinic (TWHSLC), Centre for Spanish Speaking People (CSSP) and the Inducstrial Accident Victims Group of Ontario (IAVGO) undertook a 3-year project sharing an articling student to assist migrant farm workers. The project came to an end in 2013. When the LFO funding ended, the clinic initiated a bi-monthly teleconference with other clinics (Migrant Farmers Working Group) to discuss cases, law reform and community development efforts to reach out to farm workers and seasonal agricultural workers as well as temporary foreign workers on two-year work permits.

Project Lead: Linda Vannucci
Toronto Workers' Health and Safety Legal Clinic
More Info: Project Summary Document

30. Seeking Health and Safety Solutions - Partnering with the University of Toronto Engineering Strategies Practices

In 2015-16 the Clinic plans to expand its partnership with the University of Toronto Engineering Department. The Clinic currently supervises between 20 and 30 students in projects that are innovative and seek solutions to health and safety hazards that have contributed to workplace fatalities.

Project Lead:Linda Vannucci
Toronto Workers' Health and Safety Legal Clinic
More Info: Project Summary Document