Public Documents

The ACLCO provides access here to a number of documents of interest to members, funder, government and the general public on a variety of topics including reports about the clinic system, information on challenges and celebrations of member success.

Annual Clinic Report

The ACLCO is pleased to publish its first Annual Report, "Together Making the Equal Rights Dream a Reality" intended to showcase the fine work done in our community legal clinics for audiences such as local communities, community partners, funders, government and the broader justice sector. We hope that you will see your work reflected in it and find it useful in your communities.

Download the 2015 Annual Report (PDF)

Friends of the Community Legal Clinics

R. Roy McMurtry is pleased to announce the formation of the “Friends of the Community Legal Clinics” (The Friends).

The Friends are leaders in Ontario’s legal community. The members are:

  • The Honourable R. Roy McMurtry (Honourary Chair)
  • Raj Anand
  • Ron Ellis
  • Elizabeth Goldberg
  • Patricia Hughes
  • Derry Millar
  • Mary Jane Mossman
  • Paul Schabas
  • George Thomson
  • Fred Zemans

These individuals have come together to form The Friends of the Community Legal Clinics to show their support for Ontario’s community clinic system, and to provide the clinic system with advice and guidance, particularly on moving the clinic system forward while preserving the fundamental values that have served their communities well.

The Friends meet on an ad hoc basis, and seek opportunities to engage with relevant organizations to discuss matters pertaining to Ontario’s Community Legal Clinics.

Community Clinics in Ontario: Ensuring Access to JusticeCommunity Legal Clinics in Ontario: Ensuring access to justice

The ACLCO in conjunction with its member clinics has prepared an information booklet providing an overview of the Community Legal Clinic system in Ontario.

(Disponible en français.)


The Center for the Legal Profession

A Celebration of Ontario’s Community Legal Clinics

November 12, 2009

"A Celebration of Ontario's Community Legal Clinics" was a one-day Symposium, held on 12 November 2009 at the University of Toronto's Conference Facility.  The Symposium provided an opportunity for the legal community to celebrate and reflect on four decades of accomplishments by Ontario’s community legal clinics in promoting access to justice for the most disadvantaged Ontarians.  The Symposium brought together clinic representatives and members of the broader legal and social justice communities to review clinics’ past achievements and current challenges, and to discuss recent policy reports with respect to the role of community legal clinics in ensuring access to justice for all Ontarians.*

Sponsored in part by the:

  • Law Foundation of Ontario;
  • Osgoode Hall Law School (York University);
  • University of Toronto Faculty of Law. 

For more information, click here.

*Adapted from documentation produced by the symposium organizers.   Please note this supposium was organized independently from the ACLCO.  The comments presented in the webcasts are those of the participants and/or the organizers, and do not reflect positions of the ACLCO.

Agenda and Webcasts

The entire symposium can be viewed via webcast. Click on each link below to view the webcast of that part of the event.

9:30 - 10:30 - The Legacy - Foundations for Success: A conversation with the Hon. R. Roy McMurtry and Justice Lee Ferrier.

10:45 – 12:00 - Building to the Future - Current and Future Issues: Professor Michael Trebilcock, Professor Mary Jane Mossman and Karen Cohl.

12:00 – 1:30 - Lunch Talk: Roger Smith.

1:45 – 2:00 - Hon. Chris Bentley, Attorney-General.

2:00 – 3:10 - What do Ontario’s Community Legal Clinics Do Today?: Clinic panel, chaired by Raj Anand.

3:20 – 4:30 - Open Mike Session: chaired by Professor Lorne Sossin and Karen Cohl.


Issues and Challenges Facing Clinics and Non Profit Agencies today: Panel Presentations at the ACLCO AGM, 2009

Professor Mary Jane Mossman, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, on Prioritizing Legal Aid Needs and Demands.

Professor Laurie Mook, Co-Director, Social Economy Centre, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, on Social Accounting and Other Appropriate Ways to Measure Social Agencies.

Further Reading:  Laurie Mook, Jack Richmond and Betty Jane Quarter, What Counts: Social Accounting for Non- Profits and Cooperatives, 2nd Edition (London: Sigel Press,2006).

Tanya Lee, Project Director, Linguistic and Rural Access to Justice, Law Foundation of Ontario on Linguistic and Rural Access to Justice.

For further information on this project visit the LFO web site at: http://www.lawfoundation.on.ca/linguistic_rural_access.php

Mary Marrone, Executive Director, Income Security Advocacy Clinic, on How Clinics can fit within the Poverty Reduction Strategy.


A Way Forward —

ACLCO Submission on behalf of Ontario's Community Legal Clinics (December 19, 2008) in Response to LAO's Discussion Paper

LAO's Discussion Paper on "Roles, Responsibilities, and Accountability Regarding Clinic Law Services", July 2008.

During the period from September through December 2008, the ACLCO undertook an extensive consultation with Ontario’s Community Legal Clinics in accordance with its Consultation Policy (2008) (Word & PDF) to develop a response to LAO’s Discussion Paper on "Roles, Responsibilities, Relationships and Accountability Regarding Clinic Law Services" of July 2008.

In light of the significant changes being contemplated to the LAO-clinic-ACLCO relationship outlined in the paper, the ACLCO undertook a series of regional consultations culminating in a provincial conference held in Toronto on October 4, 2008. To assist clinics and ensure the exchange of ideas, the ACLCO prepared an analysis document of the LAO discussion paper (that did not put forward positions but rather raised open questions) for clinic's consideration. The ACLCO released roll up reports on the regional and provincial conferences before releasing its draft outline in response to LAO’s Discussion paper.

On the basis of written feedback from clinics to the outline, the ACLCO developed the submission reproduced here.

The ACLCO believes that this submission accurately reflects the consensus position of the Ontario Community Legal Clinic System.

  • Submission Release: Dec 19, 2008 —Word; Pdf.

LAO's paper is available for download.


Clinics at the Crossroads: The Future of Community Legal Clinics in Ontario.

A presentation by Lenny Abramowicz to Southwest Regional Training, April 11, 2008.

ACLCO Executive Director, Lenny Abramowicz was invited to speak to the clinic staff attending the Southwest regional training on April 11, 2008.  The subject of his speech reflected his thoughts on the future of the LAO-Clinic-ACLCO relationship.  The topic was timely given LAO's forthcoming discussion paper on this subject.  Although the speech reflects the author’s personal reflections on the subject, it was informed by discussions within the Executive over the past two years. 

The ACLCO Executive is pleased to endorse the perspective set out in this paper: Word; Pdf.

For further information regarding recent trends in Funder-Fundee relations please see:

  • Ted Richmond and John Shields, “Settlement Services and the Public Good”, March 2007.
  • See also: Bryan Evans, Ted Richmond and John Shields, “Structuring Neo liberal Governance: The Non-Profit Sector, Emerging New Modes of Control and the Marketization of Service Delivery”, Policy and Politics, Fall 2005.

Address by R. Roy McMurtry to the ACLCO's 10th anniversary Annual General Meeting, 2007.R Roy McMurtry speaking at the 2007 ACLCO AGM

At the 2007 ACLCO AGM (May 11th), the Honourable Justice R. Roy McMurtry, then Chief Justice of Ontario, made the Keynote Address and was presented with the Stephen Little Memorial Award, for outstanding contributions to the Ontario Community Legal Clinic System. We have reproduced Mr. Justice McMurtry's Keynote Address which is a testament to his ongoing commitment to access to Justice.

Chief Justice (Retired) R. Roy McMurty receives Steven Little Award for his longstanding support for Ontario's Community Legal Clinics.R Roy McMurtry Receiving the Stephen Little Award for his longstanding committment to clinics

Chief Justice R. Roy McMurtry Receiving the Stephen Little Memorial Award by ACLCO Executive Director, Lenny Abramowicz, and ACLCO co-chairs, John McKinnon (Staff, IWC) and Steve Webster (Board, South Ottawa Community Legal Services).