Our Lawyer Referral Service is just one way to get started with finding a lawyer. Here are some other ways to find a lawyer in Nova Scotia.
Do you need to hire a lawyer in private practice? Don't know which lawyer to choose?
We may be able to help. Contact the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia for legal information and to see if we may be able to refer you to a lawyer in private practice who is a member of the Legal Information Society's Lawyer Referral Service.
Lawyers in the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia's Lawyer Referral Service are not free (pro bono) lawyers. Lawyer Referral Service members offer an initial consultation of up to 30 minutes for a fee of no more than $20 plus tax. Regular fees or fees worked out directly with the lawyer, will be charged after the initial consultation.
Please note that the lawyer is not expected to do legal work for you during the initial 30-minute consultation. They are expected to 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.
How do I request a lawyer referral?
Contact the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia. We will ask you some questions to:
- Confirm that you have a legal problem and whether a lawyer in private practice can help you;
- Determine what type of legal problem you may have;
- Determine whether other resources might help you (for example, Nova Scotia Legal Aid or a community agency); and
- Give you relevant legal information about your legal problem.
Some of the questions may be personal, but we are asking to make sure we are making an appropriate referral and to give you helpful legal information. The service is anonymous and confidential. Our legal information counsellors are trained professionals with diverse skills and knowledge in many areas of law. All of our legal information counsellors have law degrees. Their main job is public legal education and legal information. They may be able to give you legal information to help you take the next steps toward solving your legal problem.
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.
A referral from the Legal Information Society is not a recommendation. We do not rate lawyers and are not able to give recommendations.
We only give one lawyer referral for the same legal issue. We do not give a list of lawyers.
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.
The lawyer works in private practice. They do not work for the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia. They are a lawyer in the community who has agreed to be part of the Lawyer Referral Service.
Tell the lawyer you were referred by the Legal Information Society's Lawyer Referral Service.
The law firm must do a conflict check to ensure they can offer a consultation.
You can connect 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 - in some cases, it may happen remotely (examples: telephone, virtual).
During this initial consultation, you will discuss your problem with the lawyer and get an idea of your options and the costs involved. Do not expect the lawyer to do legal work for you during the initial consultation. Legal work includes 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! See our Guide to a Successful Interview with a Lawyer.
A referral from our service is just for a consultation. You do not have to hire a lawyer if you do not want to, and the lawyer has no obligation to take your case.
Suppose you hire the lawyer after the initial 30-minute consultation, and the lawyer agrees to represent you. In that case, you must work out a fee arrangement directly with the lawyer. This usually means you will be paying the lawyer's regular fees. Be sure you understand the fee arrangement. See How Lawyers Charge for their work for more information.
When is the Lawyer Referral Service open?
Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Closed weekends and holidays.
Please note that, unfortunately, we cannot accept messages for return phone calls.
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 practices.
- Where the lawyer is.
- Fee arrangements the lawyer may consider (e.g. regular fees, contingency fee agreement, limited scope retainer, flat fees, service fee).
- Whether the lawyer may offer in-office, telephone, email, or virtual consultations.
- How long the lawyer has practiced law.
- Whether the lawyer can meet the client where they are instead of at the lawyer's office.
- Whether notary public services are offered.
- Whether the lawyer is a member of the Bar anywhere other than Nova Scotia.
- Whether the lawyer offers service in languages other than English.
Can I get a list of lawyers who are part of the Lawyer Referral Service?
No. We cannot provide a list of lawyers registered with the Lawyer Referral Service.
Are all Nova Scotia lawyers part of the Lawyer Referral Service?
No. It is voluntary for lawyers to join the Legal Information Society's Lawyer Referral Service.
I contacted 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.
I can't afford a lawyer. Where can I get free legal help?
Lawyers in 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. After that, you must work out a fee arrangement directly with the lawyer. This usually means you will be paying the lawyer's regular fees. Be sure you understand the fee arrangement. See How Lawyers Charge for their work for more information.
Here is a list of free and low-cost legal services in Nova Scotia, or you can contact us by phone, email or live chat for free legal information, and we'll see if we can suggest other sources of help.