How do I find a lawyer or paralegal to help with my legal problem?
Question & AnswerHow do I find a lawyer or paralegal to help with my legal problem?
2. Find a lawyer
Here are some ways to find a lawyer:
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 who speaks your language, or a lawyer who accepts legal aid certificates.
If you're unable to use the online service, you can call the Law Society of Ontario crisis line at 1-855-947-5255 or 416-947-5255 in Toronto. For example, you can call this number if you're in a shelter or in a remote community without access to the internet. The crisis line is available from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
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.
Law Society of Ontario Directory
The Law Society of Ontario has a Directory of all lawyers licensed to practise law in Ontario. You can search the directory by name, address or postal code, language, or area of law. You can also search by whether services are offered in French or whether unbundled services are offered.
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.
Legal Aid Ontario
Community Legal Clinics
There are over 70 legal clinics in Ontario that have lawyers and paralegals to help you with your legal problem if you have a low income. There is a list of clinics in Ontario on the legal aid website. You can search for the nearest clinic by entering your postal code.
Each law school in Ontario also has a legal aid clinic staffed by law students who are supervised by lawyers. These clinics are located in Kingston, London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Toronto, and Windsor.
Check to make sure the legal clinic deals with the legal problem you need help with.
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, paralegals, and mediators who provide help at reduced rates depending on income.
You must register and pay a fee to use the website. This fee may be returned to you if you do not find a professional to work with.
Family and friends
You can ask family and friends for the name of a lawyer they have used. If you do this, remember that everyone's case is different. Just because a lawyer was good for your family or friend doesn't mean they are right for you.