Are you a Nova Scotia lawyer?
Join the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia's Lawyer Referral Service (LRS)
How to join
Benefits of joining
LISNS' Lawyer Referral Service is:
- an excellent way to build your practice
- an invaluable legal information resource
- a great way to raise your professional profile
- a rewarding way to give back to your community
- free to join.
The Legal Information Society's Lawyer Referral Service is widely recognized. It is listed in many government materials, including Court Services publications, both online and in print, and is linked to from the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society's website (Lawyer Directory/Member Search page). The LRS receives thousands of calls annually. The Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia has over 35 years of experience delivering free, plain language legal information and providing appropriate referrals to helping resources. All of our staff have law degrees and are experienced in providing high quality legal information and making appropriate referrals.
Just some of the many reasons Nova Scotians contact LISNS' Lawyer Referral Service:
"The judge told me to call the LRS so they could put me in touch with a lawyer"
"I don't know what kind of lawyer I need - can you help?"
"A lawyer told me to call because they don't do that type of law"
"I got the LRS number from my Employee Assistance Plan"
Is there a fee to join?
No. It is free to join.
LISNS' LRS membership
The Legal Information Society's LRS is flexible. You choose what works for you.
You provide up to a 30 minute initial consultation for no more than $20 plus tax. It is up to you whether you charge the $20 fee.
You may decline a referral if there is a conflict of interest, or if you feel the referral is not appropriate.
You are not obligated to accept any case referred to you, other than the initial interview.
When you fill out the LRS Sign-up Form, tell us if you'll consider:
- remote services such as telephone, email or other remote consultation such as Zoom or MSTeams
- flexible fee arrangements, if you and the client agree to go ahead, and you feel it is appropriate. For example:
- contingency fee agreement
- limited scope retainer
- fixed fees
- fees paid by installments
- lower fees than you generally charge.
- offering pro bono services. Please click here for information about offering pro bono services.
Unless you specifically tell us you'll consider providing pro bono services (details here), you are not expected to do legal work during the initial consultation, just discuss options and costs involved.
You can remove your name from the LRS at any time.
Our commitment to you
- We make referrals on a rotation basis, taking area of law, client need and geographic location into account
- We are experienced in determining whether a person has a legal problem, and the type of legal problem
- You can take your name off the Lawyer Referral list at any time
- You can limit the nature or number of referrals
- You have no obligation to take on a case.
How it works
- Callers contact a Legal Information Counsellor to request a lawyer referral. Our counsellors all have law degrees. Counsellors give legal information, not legal advice or opinions
- If a referral seems appropriate, the counsellor gives a lawyer's name and contact information
- It is up to the caller to contact the lawyer to set up an appointment
- Referrals are made on a rotation basis, taking legal issue, client need (such as language spoken, fee options offered) and geographic location into account.
What we tell potential clients to expect
We tell the potential client that
- they must tell the law firm they got the lawyer’s contact information from the Legal Information Society's Lawyer Referral Service
- the law firm will do a conflict check
- if there is no conflict and the lawyer feels the referral is appropriate, the potential client can expect up to a 30 minute consultation for no more than $20 plus tax (or at no cost for pro bono - details here)
- they should not expect legal work to be done during the initial consultation (Exception: pro bono - details here)
- if indicated on the lawyer's LRS Sign-up form, the lawyer may consider flexible fee options. Otherwise, we tell the potential client to expect that regular fees will be charged after the initial consultation, if the lawyer and client agree to go ahead
- the consultation may be in-person, over the telephone, or by email/online, at the lawyer’s discretion
- they have no obligation to hire the lawyer after the intial consultation.
LRS member requirements
You must be a practising member in good standing with the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society.
For the Sexual Harassment in the Workplace (SHWP) Lawyer Referral Service only:
Lawyers must complete training focused on legal options for victims of sexual harassment and trauma-informed approaches to client service before joining the SHWP lawyer list. The free training is online, and can be counted toward CPD requirements. Go here to read more about the program and you can pdf download the information brochure for the public here. (308 KB)
What's the difference between the regular LRS and the Sexual Harassment in the Workplace LRS?
Lawyers who join the Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Program (SHWP) Lawyer Referral Service will receive a $95 hourly rate for up to four hours of advice for clients referred to them through our program. LISNS has special project funding from Justice Canada for this program, which includes funding to pay lawyers to provide advice to clients. Lawyers must complete training focused on legal options for victims of sexual harassment and trauma-informed approaches to client service before joining the SHWP lawyer list. The free training is online, and can be counted toward CPD requirements. Go here to read more about the program and you can pdf download the information brochure for the public here. (308 KB)
Lawyers who join the regular LRS are expected to provide up to a 30 minute initial consultation to people referred to them by LISNS, for no more than $20 plus tax. It is up to you whether you charge the $20 fee. You are not expected to do legal work during the initial consultation, just discuss options and costs involved. Lawyers on the regular LRS are not paid by LISNS. While you are not required to complete the free online training in order to join the regular LRS, we recommend and encourage it.
You may join either or both Lawyer Referral lists (regular and/or SHWP list), as long as you meet the requirements. Use the LRS sign up form to join either (or both) and just pick the options that apply to you.
Free Training Materials for Lawyers
Mediator Referral Service and other opportunities for lawyers
Contact LISNS' Lawyer Referral Service (membership questions, changes)
If you need to change your membership information, or wish to remove your name from the LRS list (temporarily or permanently) please contact us:
Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia
Telephone: 902-454-2198 (LRS administration only, not for lawyer referrals)
Email: [email protected]
Thank you for supporting the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia and access to justice through your LRS membership.