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