The Law Society regulates Ontario lawyers and paralegal licensees in the public interest.
We ensure that these individuals:
- Are licensed and insured
- Are qualified to help you through the legal process
- Meet standards of learning, competence and professional conduct.
In some situations, you may either choose a lawyer or a paralegal to assist you. In others, you will need to speak with a lawyer. Please see Choosing the Right Legal Professional for more information. You may also want to review the Helping You With Your Legal Needs brochure.
Make sure you protect yourself and check our Directory or contact the Law Society to confirm that the person you are thinking of hiring is a licensed legal professional.
What we can do for you
If you think you need legal assistance, you may first want to read Helping You With Your Legal Needs and Choosing the Right Legal Professional, both of which will help you to understand the differences between the services offered by lawyers and those offered by paralegals. Once you have determined the type of legal services you require, the following information can help you to find a lawyer or a paralegal and see Finding a Lawyer or Paralegal.
- Finding a Lawyer
- Finding a Paralegal
- Finding out more about a specific lawyer or paralegal
- Each listing in the Lawyer and Paralegal Directory includes the individual's practising status, in addition to contact information. If a lawyer or paralegal has a discipline history, restrictions on his or her practice, or if there is a trusteeship, there will be information on this in the directory listing
- You may contact the Law Society's Client Service Centre to find out whether a lawyer or licensed paralegal is currently entitled to provide legal services in Ontario. You may also ask about the individual's discipline history. See Finding a Lawyer or Paralegal for more information
- The Law Society also prosecutes individuals who provide legal services directly to the public without a license
Access to Legal Services
The Law Society supports a number of services that help to make sure Ontario residents are well served by their legal system. These include Law Society initiatives, as well as those of other organizations. Please see our Access to Legal Services section for more information.
Complaining about a lawyer or licensed paralegal
Please see our Complaining about a Lawyer or Paralegal section for more information.
What we cannot do
- Investigate complaints about fees charged by a lawyer or paralegal
- The Law Society cannot order your lawyer or paralegal to reduce the amount billed to you for services provided.
- If you have a problem with your lawyer's bill, you may want to talk to your lawyer, or contact the Assessment Office of the Superior Court of Justice to make an appointment to have your bill reviewed. See Your Legal Bill - Too High? for more information.
- If you have a problem with the fee charged by a paralegal, you may want to talk to the paralegal or contact the Small Claims Court (if the bill is under $25,000). See Your Legal Bill - Too High? for more information
- Provide legal advice
- The Law Society cannot provide you with legal advice. However, we can give you information about our complaints process and direct you to other legal resources who may be able to assist you.
- Order your lawyer or paralegal to compensate you for losses resulting from negligent acts
- All practising lawyers in Ontario are required to have professional liability insurance through LAWPRO, the Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company.
- Licensed paralegals are also required to carry professional liability insurance, through private insurance providers.
- If you believe your lawyer or paralegal was negligent, you may want to get legal advice about your options.
Visit About the Society to learn more about the Law Society of Upper Canada.