2. Find a lawyer or paralegal
Question & AnswerHow do I find a lawyer or paralegal to help me with my landlord?
Here are some ways to find a lawyer or paralegal. Check to see if the lawyer or paralegal is licensed by the Law Society of Ontario and is not facing a discipline process.
Referral from a community legal clinic
Community legal clinics give legal help to people with low incomes in all parts of Ontario. If your local clinic can't help you, they might be able to give you the names of lawyers or paralegals in your community who have experience dealing with problems.
Law Society Referral Service
The Law Society of Ontario also has a Law Society Referral Service. This online service gives you the name of a lawyer or paralegal in your area who can give you a free consultation for up to 30 minutes. You can also ask for a lawyer or paralegal who speaks your language or who accepts legal aid certificates.
If you do not have internet access or you are unable to use the online service, you can call the Law Society Referral Service on a crisis line at 1-855-947-5255 or 416 947-5288 in Toronto. The line is available from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
You don't have to hire this person. But you can't ask for a second referral for the same legal problem.
Law Society of Ontario
The Law Society of Ontario has a Directory of all lawyers and paralegals who are licensed to practice 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.
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 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.
Family and friends
If you decide to hire a lawyer or paralegal that a friend or family member used, remember that everyone's case is different. Just because a lawyer or paralegal was good for your family or friend doesn't mean they are right for you.