I need a lawyer
(Lawyer Referral Service)
Click here for more information and other options for finding a lawyer in Nova Scotia.
Need a lawyer? Don't know which lawyer to choose?
We may be able to help. Call the Legal Information Society's Lawyer Referral Service at 1-800-665-9779 (toll free) or 902-455-3135 in the Halifax area.
Since 1992, the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia has operated this key legal resource, and has referred thousands of Nova Scotians to a private lawyer. Lawyer Referral Service members offer an initial consultation of up to 30 minutes for a fee of only $20 plus tax.
Please note that the lawyer is not expected to do legal work for you during the initial 30 minute consultation, just review your legal problem and talk about options you may have to solve your legal problem, and how much it may cost to have the legal work done.
Q - How does the Lawyer Referral Service Work?
- Call the Lawyer Referral Service;
- We will ask you some questions to:
- find out whether you have a legal problem and whether a lawyer can help you
- determine what type of legal problem you may have
- determine whether there are other resources that might help you (for example, Nova Scotia Legal Aid or a community agency), and
- to give you legal information.
- Some of the questions may seem personal, but we are asking to try to make sure we are making an appropriate referral, and to give you helpful legal information
- The service is anonymous, and confidential
- If it is appropriate to provide a lawyer referral, we will do our best to refer you to a private lawyer who does the type of law you need, in your part of the province. Unfortunately we can't always help or refer you to a lawyer, but if not, we will try to refer you to other resources that might help
- Referrals are made on a rotation basis, taking area of law and geographic location into account
- When we provide a lawyer referral, we give you a lawyer's name and telephone number. It is up to you to contact the lawyer to set up an appointment
- Make sure you tell the lawyer you were referred by the Legal Information Society's Lawyer Referral Service;
- You can meet with the lawyer for up to 30 minutes for a fee of $20 plus tax. Consultations are generally in the lawyer's office, although it is up to the lawyer. During this half hour you will discuss your problem with the lawyer and get an idea of what your options are and costs involved. Do not expect the lawyer to do any legal work for you during the initial consultation. Legal work includes things like giving a legal opinion or advice, reviewing, interpreting, or drafting documents.
- Prepare for your meeting with the lawyer. Think about what you want to say - what are the most important points? Take important documents with you, including any court order(s), contracts, financial information (if relevant), etc., so that you can leave the documents (or copies) with the lawyer if you decide to hire them. Briefly summarize your legal problem. Keep in mind that 30 minutes goes by very quickly! Click here for a Guide to a Successful Interview with a Lawyer.
- If you decide to hire the lawyer after the initial 30 minute consultation, and the lawyer agrees to represent you, you will need to work out a fee arrangement directly with the lawyer. This usually means you will be paying the lawyer's regular fees. Be certain you understand the fee arrangement.
Q -I met with the lawyer you referred me to, but it didn't work out. Can I get another referral for the same legal issue?
No. We only give one lawyer referral for the same legal issue, unless there is a conflict of interest. If the referral we gave you did not work out, click here for information about other ways to find a lawyer and legal help.
Q -Can I get a list of lawyers who are Lawyer Referral Service members?
No. We cannot provide a list of lawyers who are registered with the Lawyer Referral Service.
Q -What information do we have about the lawyers who are part of the Lawyer Referral Service?
We have the following information:
- areas of law the lawyer does
- where the lawyer is
- fee arrangements the lawyer may consider (eg. regular fees, contingency fee agreement, limited scope retainer, flat fees, fee for service)
- whether the lawyer offers in-office, telephone or email consultations
- how long the lawyer has practised law
- whether the lawyer can meet the client where they are instead of at the lawyer's office
- whether the lawyer offers service in languages other than English.
Q -How do I use the Lawyer Referral Service?
Call the Lawyer Referral Service at:
902-455-3135 (Halifax Regional Municipality) or
1-800-665-9779 (toll free in NS)
Q -When is the Lawyer Referral Service open?
Monday to Friday 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Closed 1 pm to 2 pm. Closed weekends and holidays.
Please note that unfortunately we cannot accept messages for return phone calls. Calls are answered as they come in to the office. If you are calling when the service is open and can't get through it means the Legal Information Counsellors are on the phone right now, so please try again soon.
Q -I can't afford a lawyer. Where can I get free legal help?
Lawyer who are part of the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia's Lawyer Referral Service are not free (pro bono) lawyers. Lawyer Referral Service members are lawyers in private practice who offer a reduced fee for an initial consultation.
Click here to see a list of free and low cost legal services in Nova Scotia, or call our free Legal Information Line at 902-455-3135 or 1-800-665-9779 for free legal information and referrals to other sources of help.