Since 2015, LAO has required that all panel lawyers submit an annual self-report via the Legal Aid Online Portal. The purpose of the LAO self-report is to confirm the lawyer’s ongoing eligibility for panel membership and compliance with their obligations to LAO, verify that the lawyer remains active, and confirm that the lawyer continues to meet LAO’s Panel Standards. The Self-Report is open each year from late January to March 31 and covers the prior calendar year.
A step has now been added for panel lawyers who do not file LAO’s annual self-report. This step will directly respond to the Auditor General’s 2018 recommendations. Panel lawyers using Legal Aid Online who don’t file their self-report by the March 31, 2020 deadline will be automatically redirected to the self-report page, and will have limited functionality within Legal Aid Online until they submit their self-report. Acknowledging new certificates and submitting accounts to LAO will not be possible until the report is filed. We have made filling the report quite easy and it will be able to be done with a few clicks, so there is no impediment for a panel lawyer to file their self-report. In fact, the step of having a lawyer re-directed to the self-report page from the portal will help those who have a hard time with this type of administration.
The annual self-report is available now via Legal Aid Online, and panel lawyers will have until March 31, 2020 to complete their self-reports before the ability to acknowledge certificates or submit accounts is impacted.
This will not be an issue for anyone until after March 31st and only if they fail to complete their self-report.