Our Legal Services
Our clinic provides a variety of services including legal advice & referrals, legal representation, public legal education, community development and law reform. We provide service to individuals, groups and communities. Our intent with all advocacy efforts is to bring about change that will impact the entire community.
We represent financially eligible individuals and sometimes groups in the areas of law listed above. Our staff asks about income and assets to determine your eligibility. Our services are free.
Clients, where able, may be asked to pay for out of pocket legal disbursements such as medical reports and court filing fees.
Advice & Referrals
We give free legal advice when you call us or walk into our office, in the areas of law listed to the side. We normally do not ask income information when giving advice. Sometimes we will need to make an appointment for you with a member of staff to talk about your concerns. We try to answer your questions the same day you contact us although it may be up to 24-48 hours.
If you contact us about a legal problem that we cannot help with, we will refer you to the appropriate place to get help. This is called a referral. For referrals and information on other services and community resources in Sault Ste. Marie call 211. It is a free service.
211 is an easy-to remember three digit phone number providing free, confidential access to information about the full range of non emergency community, social, health and government services in the community.
We represent people at hearings before a number of tribunals including:
The Landlord and Tenant Board
The Social Benefits Tribunal (for Ontario Works and IN LIMITED CASES before the ODSP)
The Workplace Safety & Insurance Board and Appeals Tribunal
The Board of Referees and Umpire (for employment insurance appeals)
The Review Tribunal and Pension Appeals Board (for CPP)
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.
We also appear in provincial and federal appeal courts for these matters. You must be financially eligible for this service.
Public Legal Education
We're available to speak to client groups and agency staff about our areas of practice and advocacy work. We encourage people to contact us to discuss their needs. We are happy to tailor presentations to the audience. We also produce legal education materials such as fact sheets, advocacy articles, power point presentations and information on this web site.
An important part of our work is community development. The Algoma Community Legal Clinic attends the Soup Kitchen the second Monday of every month. From 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. It is at this time that individuals can attend and receive legal advice in the areas of law that we deal with.
The Algoma Community Legal Clinic also attends the Neighbourhood Resource Centre, located at 138 Gore Street, Sault Ste. Marie every Wednesday afternoon.
What we do not do
We do not do criminal, family or immigration law. This work is handled by Private Bar lawyers on legal aid certificates. Contact Us for more information.
If you are dissatisfied with our services you have a right to complain. Our goal is to provide service that satisfies our clients.
We hope that your experience with our community legal clinic is a positive one. If you are unhappy with the service you have received at the clinic, you can make a complaint:
• Talk directly with the person who has been serving you;
• Write to the Executive Director c/o the clinic at the below address;
• Ask to speak to the Director of Admin, Wendy Bird or Director of Legal Services, Kari Barry;
• If the complaint is about the Director of Admin or Director of Legal, write to the attention of the Chair of the Board of Directors c/o the clinic at the below address, marked “Personal and Confidential”;
• If you are not a client or former client, your complaint should be made in writing to the attention of the Director of Admin or Director of Legal c/o the clinic at the below address.
Algoma Community Legal Clinic
473 Queen Street East, Suite 301
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 1Z5
If your complaint is not resolved by clinic staff or either Director, the clinic Board will investigate the complaint and give you a chance to meet with members of the Board in person to discuss your complaint. You may be asked to appear before the Board’s Complaints Committee.
The Board will provide you with a written decision which will either accept or deny the complaint.
If you are unhappy with the decision of the Board of Directors you can ask the clinic to forward the complaint to the Complaints Office of Legal Aid Ontario.
Complaints Office, Legal Aid Ontario
Suite 200-40 Dundas Street West
Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2C2
Toll Free: 1-800-668-8258 Fax: (416) 204-4704
The clinic will not provide confidential information about a clinic client or former client to the clinic Board or Legal Aid Ontario unless that person agrees to the information being provided. This does not apply to information about financial eligibility. This does not apply to non-clients.
If a Consent Form For A Client Complaint is not signed, the complaint shall be considered abandoned.
The above information is a summary only. You can obtain a copy of the complete Complaints Policy from any staff person at the clinic.
This site provides general information only, specific to Ontario, Canada. It is NOT legal advice. Laws, practices and policies change over time. The applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should get legal advice for your particular situation.
Please call us or a lawyer in your area for advice on your particular situation.