Bilingual Duty Counsel - Criminal

Legal Aid Ontario employees are committed to making a difference in the lives of our clients.

As an integral partner in the Justice system, working at Legal Aid Ontario is more than just a job. It's an opportunity to help people who need it the most; to ensure each client receives the access to justice afforded to them under the law.

If you are looking for a new challenge in your already meaningful career with a team dedicated to justice, and innovation in a flexible and supportive work environment consider this opportunity below.


Primary function

The successful candidate will be responsible for the staffing of criminal courts in the Ontario Court of Justice, with a focus on bail, sentencing, and remand courts, and other specialty courts, including the 672 Youth Court and the Drug Treatment Court as required. The successful candidate will also be responsible for providing summary legal advice, negotiating resolutions including diversions, preparing and assisting with consent and contested bail hearings and variations, preparing and assisting clients for guilty pleas and sentencing as well as providing assistance with legal aid applications. They may also be tasked with providing summary legal advice through our Criminal Law Information Centre.

Key accountabilities

• Assisting unrepresented clients who have been charged with criminal or quasi-criminal matters 
• Preparing and conducting bail hearings 
• Preparing and assisting with guilty pleas 
• Preparing and arguing sentencing submissions 
• Providing clients with summary legal advice 
• Reviewing disclosure 
• Interviewing clients, sureties and witnesses for bail hearings 
• Negotiating with Crown Prosecutors 
• Participating in Crown Pre-trials 
• Assisting and representing clients at Judicial Pre-trials 
• Representing clients in criminal court, up to and including trials 
• Working closely with other staff Duty Counsel to ensure seamless flow of information between Duty Counsel 
• Duties may include occasionally acting as Duty Counsel in Leamington Court to cover court assignments
• Providing summary Family Law advice at LAO’s clinic at the Windsor Bilingual Legal Clinic
• Possible plea preparation, assistance and representation in the Superior Court of Justice(SCJ) for legally eligible clients 
• File management and statistics input 
• Liaising with appropriate stakeholders within the courthouse
• The ability to provide advice in French

Required skills & experience

• Member in good standing with the Law Society of Ontario 
• Ability to work with others in a fast-paced environment 
• Criminal law experience 
• Family law experience
• Ability to work independently 
• Sound judgment and problem solving skills 
• Ability to work in a team setting
• Well developed interview skills including a proven ability to identify vulnerable clients so that the appropriate service and referrals can be made 
• Proven ability to learn and adapt to new or modified policies and procedures 
• Proven ability to document client files including advice to clients and instructions 

Preferred Skills & Experiences: 
• Prior criminal court experience 
• Prior family court experience
• A commitment to social justice or public interest work 
• A sound knowledge of Legal Aid Ontario’s operations and mandate 
• Demonstrated interest in or awareness of Aboriginal legal issues 
• Training or advocacy experience in relation to mental health issues 
• Demonstrated ability to use latest communication technologies including Smartphones; Blackberry’s, iPhone and tablets 
• Must have intermediate knowledge of the following Microsoft programs: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. 
• Familiarity and competence with proper maintenance of client data base, computer information databases such as PeopleSoft 
• French language skills are required as this is a designated position

First Preference will be given to current Lawyer applicants who are on the LAO redeployment list. 

Only those candidates selected for an interview will be notified. 

This position is collectively represented by the Society of United Professionals (SUP) and the successful incumbent will be governed by the provisions of a collective agreement and subject to union dues.

Legal Aid Ontario encourages applicants from equity seeking groups, including but not limited to individuals who are First Nations, Inuit or Metis decent, persons with disabilities, members of racialized communities and women.

Please note that all applicants are encouraged to provide a valid email address for communication purposes. Applicants may receive written correspondence regarding this job posting directly to the email address provided on their resume or to the one used to set up their Candidate Profile if applying on Njoyn. As an applicant, it is your responsibility to ensure that you check your email regularly. 

First time applying to LAO? You will need to create a profile AND then apply for the position. 
Already have an Njoyn account? Just sign in and select "my jobs" to apply. 
Once you have successfully applied you will receive a confirmation email. 

Trouble applying? For telephone support please call 1-877-427-7717 or email support:


Legal Aid Ontario values integrity, respect, responsiveness, excellence, independence, accountability, openness and consistency. Our recruitment process reflects our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Accommodation is available under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Similar searches: Full time, Contract, Lawyer - Other, Legal Non-profit, Criminal Law, Family Law