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How to Find a Good Lawyer

Many people use the Lawyer Referral Service. Recipients of Legal Aid Ontario Certificates are required to use the Lawyer Referral Service to find a lawyer.

The Lawyer Referral Service is a computer database operated by the organization that governs all lawyers. It costs nothing to use the Lawyer Referral Service.

The Lawyer Referral Service database records:

  • The lawyer’s address;
  • Whether he or she accepts Legal Aid Certificates and
  • The types of law the lawyer practices.

To use the Lawyer Referral Service, call 1-800-268-8326 during regular business hours. Tell the client service representative your location, your problem and whether you have a Legal Aid Certificate. The Client Service Representative will suggest a lawyer that can satisfy all of your needs. The Client Service Representative will give you a 9 digit Lawyer Referral Service Number which you must write down.

The lawyer recommended to you does not represent you. The referral is only for a ½ hour consultation. You can hire another lawyer if you wish but the Lawyer Referral Service will refer only one lawyer to you.

The website for the Waterloo Law Association provides a separate comprehensive list of all local lawyers practicing family law. You can find the family law list at this website: K-W Family Lawyers

Finally, the yellow pages (either online or in print form) is an excellent way of finding a local lawyer that handles your type of case.

When hiring a lawyer, ask these questions:

  • Have you dealt with this issue before?
  • How long have you been practicing generally?
  • How long will each step take?
  • Will you be handling my file or will an associate or articling student handle the file?
  • What is your billable rate?
  • How often do you send an invoice?

The time and expense of resolving your matter will depend on:

  • Whether the other side is cooperative or adversarial
  • The issues’ complexity;
  • The number of issues;
  • Your lawyer’s experience;
  • Your lawyer’s file load
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