4. Check qualifications
Question & AnswerHow do I find a lawyer or paralegal to help with my legal problem?
Check that the lawyer or paralegal you choose is licensed to practice law in Ontario. Also, check that the lawyer or paralegal has not been suspended, disbarred, or subject to disciplinary action.
The Law Society of Ontario (LSO) regulates lawyers and paralegals in Ontario. This means they:
- have rules about who can become a lawyer or paralegal
- have rules about how lawyers and paralegals must behave professionally
- deal with complaints about lawyers and paralegals
If you hire a lawyer or paralegal who is not licensed, the LSO can’t help you if you have a problem with them. The LSO has a list of people who have been found by the Court to be illegal practitioners.
You can search the LSO directory of lawyers and paralegals. It will give you the lawyer or paralegal’s status and a history of disciplinary action taken against them.
You can also call the LSO toll-free at 1-800-668-7380 ext. 3315 or 416-947-3315 in Toronto to find out if:
- the lawyer or paralegal is currently providing legal services
- there are restrictions on the lawyer or paralegal’s practice, and if so, what the restrictions are
- the lawyer or paralegal’s licence is currently suspended
You can also ask about the lawyer or paralegal’s discipline history, including:
- findings of professional misconduct or
- details of orders resulting from those findings
- if there are any licence restrictions