Justice and technology research

This call for applications has been completed and we are no longer accepting applications. 

Justice and technology research – Call for applications

About Justice and technology research

The Law Foundation of Ontario invites nonprofit organizations to apply for a Justice and technology research grant.

The Foundation wishes to understand how technology is impacting access to justice. Access to justice exists when the public can understand, use, and afford information and services to prevent and resolve their legal disputes and to achieve just outcomes without delay. This granting stream highlights the Foundation’s strategic objective of expanding knowledge: “We continually deepen our knowledge of access to justice, including the contribution of community organizations. We are committed to sharing our knowledge about what is happening and what works.”

The purpose of the Justice and technology research grant is to gain a better understanding of the practical ways in which technology is, or could, potentially change how legal services are provided, and to support access to justice for people with legal needs.

The Foundation understands that there are multiple definitions of “technology” and is open to various research approaches as part of this call.


The Law Foundation of Ontario makes grants to advance access to justice. Grants are made to nonprofit organizations that work to benefit the people of Ontario. The Foundation does not provide funding to individuals or to for-profit ventures.


A Justice and technology research project must support access to justice and fit within the Foundation’s mandate and be consistent with the Foundation’s mission and vision.

Preference will be given to applications that address the following research issues:


  • How is the public using technology to obtain legal help?
  • What type of help are they receiving?
  • What types of technology are they using?
  • How often are they using it?
  • What is the demographic profile of the people using the technology? Who is being helped? Who is not?
  • Is the help they receive of good quality and useful?
  • What are the implications of technology for self-help or the provision of support by trusted intermediaries?

Legal professionals

  • How is technology transforming the way that the legal professions use their practice?
  • To what extent does that differ by firm size, geographic location, and other factors?
  • Does the technology improve or lessen the quality and cost of services that they are able to provide to the public?
  • What is the demographic profile of individuals, organizations, or communities being helped by the legal professions’ use of technology? Who is being helped? Who is not?

Decision making

  • How is technology transforming legal decision making (by courts, administrative tribunals, online dispute resolution mechanisms, etc.)?
  • Do these transformations make dispute resolution more or less available to the public?
  • Do they improve the quality and or cost of dispute resolution?
  • What is the profile of individuals, organizations, or communities who use decision making transformed by technology? Who is being helped? Who is not?
  • Do the decision-making tools address the needs of diverse communities in an appropriate, non-discriminatory manner?


  • What regulatory approach, if any, should be taken, to the use of technology for providing legal help?
  • What have professional regulators (in the legal sector or otherwise) done when approaching these issues?
  • What are the challenges and solutions in regulating service deliverers who have a global reach and may act outside the regulators jurisdiction?

Grant amount

Up to $100,000 in one-time funding.

 Where the applicant is a post-secondary institution or where the applicant partners with a post-secondary institution, the costs with respect to the post-secondary institution should reflect those generally paid for academic research grants (e.g. see SSHRC eligible costs).

 Application process and deadline

Deadline: December 15, 2018

Download the application form in Word format here: Justice and technology application form and submit it via email to: grants@lawfoundation.on.ca

Staff may contact you for further information as part of the grant application assessment process. The more the Foundation understands about your organization and your proposed project, the better assistance we can provide.

Applications will be reviewed and presented to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and decisions will be communicated as they are made.           

Before you apply:

  1. Read the FAQ
  2. Read the sample Letter of Agreement
  3. Review the reporting requirements
  4. Discuss your idea with a Grants Officer.


More information

For more information, please read our FAQ and contact Thijiba Sinnathamby at 416-598-1550 x 318 or Tiffany Smith at 416-598-1550 x 309.


The Foundation promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion and welcomes grant applications that meet the diverse needs of Ontarians.

The Foundation is committed to meeting community needs including the needs of the Francophone community. Applicants can communicate in French during the grants process and will receive direct French language services during this process.

We accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities in our grantmaking process.