The Law Foundation of Ontario

Region: Ontario Answer # 867

The Law Foundation of Ontario (LFO)  was established in 1974, under an amendment to the Law Society Act, as a corporation without share capital.  The Foundation receives its funding from interest earned on monies held in lawyers’ and paralegals’ mixed trust accounts; which in turn are made up of funds from clients for transactions such as the purchase and sale of properties and businesses, the administration of estates and so on.  Because the money will be held for a short time, or is a small amount and unlikely to generate any net interest for the client, the funds may be placed in a “mixed trust account” whereby the Law Foundation receives the interest.

The employees and operations of the LFO are paid from the gross revenues although it does not charge a fee for its services. At least 75% of the net revenue received must be paid to Legal Aid Ontario. The surplus goes to grants for projects that involve legal education and legal research, legal aid, and the maintenance and operation of law libraries.

The Law Foundation provides funding to a large number of organizations and concentrates on projects that have a long-term impact on the legal community and those it serves. In an effort to help provide free legal assistance to individuals and organizations, the Foundation has in the past awarded grants to organizations such as Pro Bono Students Canada and the Volunteer Lawyers Service.

Individuals and organizations may apply directly to the Law Foundation for a grant. Applications are first reviewed and then brought before the Board of Trustees, which meets at frequent intervals throughout the year.

From its inception to present day, the LFO has given out over $160 million in grants and over $500 million to Legal Aid Ontario.

For more information or to apply for a grant, visit The Law Foundation of Ontario website.



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