Services for the Public

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 help you. In others, you will need to speak with a lawyer. Please see Choosing the Right Legal Professional  for more information.

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 help, you may first want to read these brochures:

These will all help you understand the differences between the services offered by lawyers and those offered by paralegals.

Please note that Handling Everyday Legal Problems is available in a number of First Nations languages as a part of our Indigenous Initiatives.

Finding a lawyer

The online Lawyer and Paralegal Directory is useful if you have the name of a lawyer, but you want to know how to contact him or her.

You can use the Law Society Referral Service to help you find a lawyer near you.

The Directory of Certified Specialists lists lawyers who are certified as specialists by the Law Society, in a particular area of law

Pro bono or legal aid services are available for those with low incomes. Please visit Law Help Ontario or Legal Aid Ontario.

For more information, see Finding a Lawyer or Paralegal.      

Finding a paralegal

The Lawyer and Paralegal Directory can help you find a specific paralegal, if you know his or her name. You can also use the directory to search by city.

You can use the Law Society Referral Service to help you find a paralegal near you. 

For more information, see Finding a Lawyer or Paralegal.  

Finding out more about a specific lawyer or paralegal

Each listing in the Lawyer and Paralegal Directory includes contact information and that person's practising status. 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 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.

 Handling everyday legal problems logo

See the Law Society's new public legal information guide:

Handling everyday legal problems
Information to help you make good choices (PDF

Handling Everyday Legal Problems is available in a number of First Nations languages as a part of our Indigenous Initiatives.


Complaining about a lawyer or licensed paralegal 

Please see our Complaining about a Lawyer or Paralegal section for more information.  

What we cannot do 

The Law Society cannot 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. 

 The Law Society cannot 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.

The Law Society cannot 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.