Find a lawyer or paralegal
Learn how to find a lawyer or paralegal, what to do if you can’t afford legal services and how to file a complaint about a lawyer or paralegal.
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A lawyer can help you with:
- family matters, such as divorce, separation and child custody
- criminal matters in all levels of court
- civil litigation matters in all levels of court
- wills, power of attorney and estate matters
- real estate matters, including buying and selling personal or commercial property
- administrative law matters, including appearances before tribunals
A paralegal can help you with:
- small claims court
- prosecution of provincial offences, including traffic tickets, under the Provincial Offences Act
- tribunals, such as the Landlord and Tenant Board or the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
- certain summary conviction criminal charges under the Criminal Code proceeding in the Ontario Court of Justice
A lawyer or paralegal can help with forms or documents and can give advice about legal rights and responsibilities.
A paralegal cannot prepare or help prepare legal documents that pertain to wills, power of attorney, custody or settlement agreements that pertain to family or matrimonial law.
Find a lawyer or paralegal
Ontario has more than 57,000 lawyers and 10,000 paralegals.
Visit the Law Society of Ontario’s Referral Service to find a lawyer or paralegal.
The Law Society also has a crisis line available Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
If you can’t afford a lawyer
If you can’t afford a lawyer, there are other organizations that might be able to help you.
Legal Aid Ontario
Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) provides legal services at a reduced cost for low-income individuals.
To find out if you are eligible for legal aid, you can call LAO, Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
You can also call the Crisis Line:
Legal aid clinics
Depending on the nature of your legal issue, you can also contact a community legal clinic for assistance. Community legal clinics are non-profit legal centres funded by Legal Aid Ontario and provide information, legal advice and representation.
Clinics deliver these services within a specific geographic area or community to help people in their area.
ARCH Disability Law Centre
ARCH Disability Law Centre is a specialty legal clinic that provides legal services to people with disabilities.
To find out if you are eligible for their services, you can call ARCH, Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Pro Bono Ontario
Pro Bono Ontario (PBO) provides free legal services for people who need help with non-family and non-criminal matters and don’t qualify for legal aid.
To find out if you are eligible for Pro Bono services, call their Free Legal Advice Hotline, available Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Human Rights Legal Support Centre
The Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC) provides human rights legal services to individuals whose rights have been violated contrary to the Ontario Human Rights Code. The HRLSC staff collectively speak over 15 languages and can provide services in over 140 languages.
For more information about eligibility, call HRLSC, available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Thursday from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
JusticeNet is a not-for-profit legal service that helps people whose income is too high to qualify for legal aid and too low to afford standard legal fees. Participating professionals, including licensed lawyers, mediators and paralegals, offer assistance to eligible clients at reduced fees.
Register online for more information or to find a legal professional.
File a complaint about a lawyer or paralegal
Filing complaints with the Law Society of Ontario
Learn more about filing a complaint about a lawyer or paralegal.
To file a complaint about a lawyer or paralegal, contact the Law Society of Ontario directly at:
Complaints concerning Legal Aid counsel
Learn more about Legal Aid Ontario’s formal complaints policy.
You can file a complaint about your legal aid lawyer directly with LAO’s Complaints Department at:
Complaints concerning Human Rights Legal Support Centre counsel
Learn more about the Human Rights Legal Support Centre’s formal complaints policy.
You can file a complaint about your counsel directly with the Manager of Client Services at:
- Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) has step-by-step information about common legal problems in eight different languages.
- Legal Line provides free legal information and referrals in 107 languages.