Can I have my civil trial in French?
Question & AnswerCan I have my civil trial in French?
4. Find a French lawyer or paralegal
Here are some ways to find a lawyer or paralegal that speaks French:
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, area of law, and city.
Law Society of Ontario Directory
The Law Society of Ontario has a Directory of all lawyers and paralegals licensed to practise law in Ontario. You can search the directory by name, area of law, city, or postal code. You can also search by whether services are offered in French.
The Ontario Legal Information Centre phone line
The Ontario Legal Information Centre offers a free 30-minute meeting with a lawyer to any person faced with a legal situation in Ontario. You can call 1-844-343-7462 to speak with a lawyer about any area of law in English or French. You may have to leave a message, and a lawyer will call you back.
Law Society Referral Service
The Law Society of Ontario has a Law Society Referral Service. This online service gives you the name of a lawyer in your area who can talk to you for up to 30 minutes for free. You can ask for a lawyer or paralegal who speaks French.
You don’t have to hire the lawyer you get referred to. But you can’t ask for a second referral for the same legal problem.
Legal Aid Ontario
LAO funds 73 community legal clinics across the province that help with:
- Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program matters
- Landlord/tenant problems
- Wrongful dismissal and other employment issues
There are also specialty clinics that:
- represent specific individuals, for example, seniors, people living with HIV, and people with disabilities, or
- deal with a specific area of law, for example workers compensation and workers’ health and safety
The clinics that provide French language services are identified in the LAO directory by a Franco-Ontarian flag.
LAO provides general legal information or advice about family law or criminal law in French and English. Call 1-800-668-8258 during business hours.
LAO also has a Francophone legal advice line that gives legal information and advice in French to people living in 4 regional areas. They do not help with family law or criminal law.
The Ontario Paralegal Association has a tool called “Find a Paralegal” at the bottom of their homepage. You can search by name, keywords, area of practice, and location.
JusticeNet is a not-for-profit organization that helps people access legal services when their income is too high to qualify for legal aid but too low to afford legal fees. If your net family income is less than $59,000, they will refer you to a directory of lawyers and paralegals who provide help at reduced rates depending on income.
You must register and pay a $25 fee to use the website. This fee may be returned to you if you do not find a professional to work with.