What We Do
Each year, The Law Foundation of Ontario awards millions of dollars to many carefully selected grantees, including both new and long-standing partners. Through the work of grantees, and through funds paid to Legal Aid Ontario, the Foundation advances its mandate to improve access to justice. From its creation in 1974 until now, the Foundation has given out over $1 billion in grants and to Legal Aid Ontario.
The Law Foundation of Ontario trustees and staff take an active and engaging approach to our work. We respond to innovative grant requests from community organizations. We provide funding to legal institutions such as law schools, law libraries and the Law Society of Ontario. And we are proactive in designing and funding special programs that we believe will make a difference.
Foundation grants enable the organizations we fund to carry out innovative projects, provide important services, and conduct ground-breaking research. In the case of the Access to Justice Fund, the Foundation’s reach extends beyond Ontario to promote access to justice in all parts of Canada. The Foundation encourages grantees to collaborate with others to make the greatest impact on access to justice.
Watch our video to get to know the Foundation a little more and click on the links below to learn about activities and programs we support.
Funding for Legal Aid Ontario
The Law Foundation of Ontario is required to pay 75% of net income earned from lawyer and paralegal mixed trust accounts directly to Legal Aid Ontario. Legal Aid Ontario decides how it will use this funding.
Responsive grant program
The Responsive Grants program enables the Foundation to fund ideas generated by nonprofit community groups to improve access to justice. Each year the program includes one round of major grants (up to $100,000) and two rounds of small grants (up to $15,000).
Access to Justice Fund and cy-près
The Access to Justice Fund is a national granting program that benefits people across Canada. This Fund receives proceeds of class action lawsuits where judges have awarded some of the proceeds to the Foundation through cy-près awards. As funds are available, calls for applications are made and communicated widely.
The Connecting Project
The Connecting Project improves access to legal information and services for people who live in rural or remote areas of Ontario or who do not speak English or French.
The Law Foundation of Ontario’s Catalyst program will provide a nonprofit organization working to advance access to justice with an opportunity to apply for up to $150,000 per year of core funding for three years.
The Law Foundation of Ontario offers three fellowship programs to advance access to justice objectives. Two fellowships are for articling students and one is for leaders in community organizations.
Publications, research, and evaluations
The Law Foundation of Ontario produces and commissions a number of publications, research reports, and evaluations about our grantmaking and about issues of importance and relevance to our grantees and access to justice generally.
Click here to see a list of grants awarded by the LFO with brief descriptions of the funded activities. This includes traditional grants as well as fellowships and scholarships.
That’s Not Fair! Children’s book helps kids understand their rights and freedoms.