In its recent announcement of a 30% cut to the funding of Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), the Government of Ontario claimed that its decision would only have a minimal impact on access to justice and LAO’s ability to offer legal services to the most vulnerable. However, as the blog post below suggests, it appears that legal clinics, and especially student law clinics, will be deeply impacted.
As explained in Legal Aid: A View from Ontario (February 28, 2019), the 73 legal clinics in Ontario are not only an intrinsic part of the delivery of legal aid services in Ontario but also a powerful network though which poverty law practitioners can pool and access resources, including training.
Besides the obvious impact on their ability to offer services to their clientele, student legal clinics might be further limited in training and exposing law students to poverty law. One of the many perverse effects of this funding cut could be that student legal clinics might have to choose between helping clients today or preparing the next generations of poverty law practitioners.
The link to the column is: http://www.slaw.ca/2019/05/09/another-threat-to-student-legal-clinics-this-time-from-ontario/