Talk to a lawyer or legal worker

A lawyer or legal worker may be able to:

  • help you understand which laws apply to you
  • explain your legal rights and responsibilities
  • let you know how long a legal process might take
  • help you make an agreement with an employer

Check to see if the lawyer is licensed by the Law Society of Ontario and is not facing a discipline process.

It's important to prepare before you speak to a lawyer or legal worker. Think about what questions you need them to answer and have any related documents or information with you.

If you can't afford to hire a lawyer, here are some other places where you can get legal help.

Law Society Referral Service

The Law Society Referral Service can give you the name of a lawyer or paralegal you can consult with for free, for up to 30 minutes.

When you talk to the lawyer or paralegal, they can help you figure out what your rights are and what options you have.

Use the Law Society's online request form to get the name of a lawyer or paralegal that you then contact.

The Association of French-Speaking Jurists of Ontario

The Association des juristes d’expression française (AJEFO) has a directory of French-speaking lawyers. You can search the directory by name, city, or area of law. You can also search for a lawyer who accepts legal aid certificates.


JusticeNet is a not-for-profit organization that can help people find legal services when their income is too high for legal aid and too low to afford legal fees. Their website has a list of lawyers, paralegals, and mediators who charge reduced fees based on your income and the size of your family. You must register and pay a small fee to use their services.

Pro Bono Ontario

Pro Bono Ontario has a legal advice hotline at 1-855-255-7256. You can get up to 30 minutes of free legal advice and help if you're representing yourself at the Small Claims Court or Superior Court. The hotline is usually available from Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Community legal clinics

There are community legal clinics across Ontario that provide free legal services to people with low incomes.

At these clinics, lawyers, community legal workers, and law students help people with a variety of legal problems, like social assistance, housing, and workers' rights.

To get help from a clinic:

  • your legal issue must be one the clinic deals with
  • you must live in the area the clinic serves
  • your income and can't be more than a certain amount

Most legal clinics also give brief advice or what's called “summary advice”, without asking about your financial situation.

And if your local clinic can't help you, they may be able to refer you to someone in your community who can.

The first step is to find your local clinic.

Community legal clinics for workers

Some community legal clinics help people only with work-related problems.

Industrial Accident Victims Group of Ontario and Injured Workers Community Legal Clinic (IWC) help injured workers.

Workers’ Health & Safety Legal Clinic helps people who are having health and safety problems at work.

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