In the fall of 1982, a group of people having the good of their community at heart, formed a committee and founded the first francophone legal clinic of Ontario. These founding members are: Lucie Cadieux, René-Marie Paiement, Rupert Larocque, Pauline Charette-Racine, Thomas Boucher, Richard Hudon, Jean-Claude Marinier, Daniel Bouchard, Robert Julien, John West, Louis Michaud and Diane Piché.

Their hard work lead to the official opening of the Clinique juridique populaire de Prescott et Russell on May 22, 1984 at 577 McGill Street in Hawkesbury. The clinic offered free legal services to the most disadvantaged of our society. These services were primarily offered to recipients of social assistance and employment insurance benefits, low-income workers, women who were victims of domestic violence and consumers.

Today our clinic is part of a network of more than 74 community legal clinics across Ontario. Many of whom offer bilingual services and/or are designated as being francophone clinics. The clinic is a charitable organization funded by Legal Aid Ontario and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors elected by its members. The Board of Directors ensures that the clinic operates properly and determines the areas of practice of the clinic based on the needs of the community.

The clinic offers free legal services to the population of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell including legal advice, representation in Ontario courts and tribunals, presentations and information sessions in our areas of practice and community development. Presently, our areas of practice are Tenant’s rights, Income Maintenance rights (Ontario Works Program, Ontario Disability Support Program, Canada Pension Plan), Employment Insurance denials and Employment Standards.