Law Society Referral Service

Looking for a legal professional

New Law Society Referral Service 

The Law Society Referral Service (LSRS), known for the past 40 years as the Lawyer Referral Service (LRS), has been filling an important community need by connecting lawyers and people looking for assistance with a legal matter. 

Now, in response to growing public demand, the Law Society has expanded its referral service to include paralegals as well as lawyers. 

When you call the LSRS, we will provide you with the name of a lawyer or licensed paralegal who will provide a free consultation of up to 30 minutes to help you determine your rights and options. 

If you need a licensed paralegal or a lawyer – for anything from a traffic ticket to buying your first home – but don’t know where to find one, the Law Society Referral Service (LSRS) can help.

The new LSRS will also include a number of service enhancements that ensure members of the public will have even greater access to legal service providers. 

And with the Internet increasingly playing a role in making justice more widely accessible, we are pleased to introduce a feature on our website that makes it possible for more people to obtain referrals online. 

You can access the service by calling 1-800-268-8326 or 416-947-3330 (within the GTA) or by accessing our on-line request form.


Law Society Referral Service (LSRS) - Frequently Asked Questions
  1. When is the service available?
  2. Is there a cost to the service?
  3. How do I access the service?
  4. I am in a crisis. Can I still use the LSRS?
  5. What are the benefits of the LSRS?
  6. What happens when I call the LSRS?
  7. My consultation with a legal professional has been set up. What do I do now?
  8. I asked the Law Society Referral Service to give me the name of a legal professional. We met, but I didn't feel comfortable. I would like to find someone else to work for me. Can I?
  9. I have a simple legal problem and would like a legal professional to write a letter for me. Can a lawyer or paralegal do this during my free half-hour consultation?

Law Society Referral Service (LSRS) - Frequently Asked Questions
  1. When is the service available?

    The service is available from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday.

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  2. Is there a cost to the service?

    No. The phone call, the referral process, and your initial consultation of up to 30 minutes are all free. However, the consultation is meant to help you determine your rights and options. You should not expect a lawyer or paralegal to do any free work during this time — that is not the purpose of the LSRS. However, you could certainly ask during the consultation what it might cost to have your legal work done.

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  3. How do I access the service?

    For on-line requests, click here; or by telephone at 1-800-268-8326 or 416-947-3330 (within the GTA). This number can be dialed from any private phone in Ontario. We regret that we cannot accommodate walk-in visitors.



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  4. I am in a crisis. Can I still use the LSRS?

    Definitely. However, please read the following carefully:

    When you call the LSRS, we give you a referral number and a lawyer or paralegal's phone number. You then phone that legal professional's office, leave a number where you can be reached, and wait to be contacted within three business days to arrange for your consultation.

    If you cannot wait at least three days for an initial consultation, or if it would be a problem for you to leave a call-back number for the lawyer or paralegal, please let us know these facts when you call the LSRS. In this situation we can provide you with the names and numbers of three members that you can try to contact. Please note that we do not provide a referral number in this instance.



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  5. What are the benefits of the LSRS?

    The LSRS will help you find a lawyer or paralegal who practises in the area of law that meets your needs. The service can also help you find a legal professional who meets specific requirements, such as speaking a certain language, or accepting Legal Aid Ontario certificates.

    Law Society members participating in the LSRS will offer you up to a half-hour free consultation. This consultation may be over the phone or in person; the choice is up to the lawyer. During this time, you can ask:

    • How the law applies to your situation
    • How to use the law to solve your legal problem
    • How long the legal work may take
    • How much the lawyer or paralegal would charge to help you

    After the consultation, you can decide if you want to hire the legal professional to work for you.



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  6. What happens when I call the LSRS?

    When you call the Law Society Referral Service, a Legal Information Officer will answer your call and ask you some questions:

    • Where in Ontario do you want the legal professional to be located?
    • What do you want the lawyer or paralegal to do for you?
    • Are you planning to apply for Legal Aid? The Law Society Referral Service is available to Legal Aid clients, but some legal professionals do not take Legal Aid cases.

    The Legal Information Officer can also assist you with your special needs — for instance, finding someone who speaks a certain language, or who has a wheelchair accessible office.

    When your needs are clear, you will be given a referral number and the name and telephone number of a lawyer or paralegal.

    Call the legal professional's office and leave your name, your phone number and the referral number. Be sure to tell them you received their name from the Law Society Referral Service. Someone will call you back within three business days to arrange the free consultation.



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  7. My consultation with a legal professional has been set up. What do I do now?

    The lawyer or paralegal needs to hear your story. What happened? Why do you want to hire someone?

    You can prepare for your conversation with a legal professional in the following ways:

    • Think about what you are going to say. Plan to explain your situation clearly and simply, starting from the beginning.
    • Gather together any papers that are important. Although the lawyer or paralegal will not review your documents during the consultation (since that is considered legal work), you may wish to have them with you in case you decide to hire the legal professional.
    • When you speak to the legal professional, talk openly. The lawyer or paralegal needs to know details — and sometimes even very personal information — in order to understand how the law applies to you.
    • During your conversation with the legal professional, you may want to write down a few notes. This may help later, when you are trying to remember exactly what he or she said.

    The purpose of the consultation is to give you information about how the law applies to you. It is also a chance to find out more about this lawyer or paralegal. By the end of the consultation, you should know more about your legal options and how much it would cost to hire this person to work for you.



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  8. I asked the Law Society Referral Service to give me the name of a legal professional. We met, but I didn't feel comfortable. I would like to find someone else to work for me. Can I?

    Yes, definitely. You are under no obligation to use the lawyer or paralegal whose name you got from the Law Society Referral Service. (Note: the Law Society Referral Service does not offer second referrals for the same legal issue. In other words, you may not use the LSRS referral process to get a second opinion on the same issue from a different legal professional.)



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  9. I have a simple legal problem and would like a legal professional to write a letter for me. Can a lawyer or paralegal do this during my free half-hour consultation?

    No. During the half-hour consultation, the legal professional's job is to discuss your legal situation and explain your options. The lawyer or paralegal cannot write letters for you, or prepare other documents as part of the consultation, since this is considered legal work. You can use the Law Society Referral Service to help you find a lawyer or paralegal. Then you can discuss how much it would cost to get your legal work done for you.

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