I need a lawyer
(Lawyer Referral Service)
Click here for more information and other options for finding a lawyer in Nova Scotia.
Need a lawyer? Don't know which lawyer to choose?
We may be able to help. Call the Legal Information Society's Lawyer Referral Service at 1.800.665.9779 (toll free) or 455.3135 HRM.
Since 1992, the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia has operated this key legal resource, and has referred thousands of Nova Scotians to a lawyer in private practice. Lawyer Referral Service members offer an initial consultation of up to 30 minutes for a fee of only $20 plus tax.
Please note that the lawyer is not expected to do legal work for you during the initial 30 minute consultation, just review your legal problem and talk about options you may have to solve your legal problem, and how much it may cost to have the legal work done.
How does the Lawyer Referral Service work?
- Call the Lawyer Referral Service;
- We will ask you some questions to find out: whether you have a legal problem and whether a lawyer can help you; what type of legal problem you may have; whether there are other resources that might help you (for example, Nova Scotia Legal Aid or a community agency), and to give you legal information. Some of the questions may seem personal, but we are asking to try to make sure we are making an appropriate referral, and to give you helpful legal information;
- If it is appropriate to provide a lawyer referral, we will do our best to refer you to a lawyer in private practice who practices in the area of law you need, in your part of the province. Unfortunately we can't always help or refer you to a lawyer, but if not, we will try to refer you to other resources that might help;
- Referrals are made on a rotation basis, taking area of law and geographic location into account;
- When we provide a lawyer referral, we give you a lawyer's name and telephone number. It is up to you to contact the lawyer to set up an appointment;
- Make sure you tell the lawyer you were referred by the Lawyer Referral Service;
- You can meet with the lawyer for up to 30 minutes for a fee of $20 plus tax. Consultations are generally in the lawyer's office, although it is up to the lawyer. During this half hour you will discuss your problem with the lawyer and get an idea of what your options are and costs involved. Do not expect the lawyer to do any legal work for you during the initial consultation. Legal work includes things like giving a legal opinion or advice, reviewing, interpreting, drafting documents.
- Prepare for your meeting with the lawyer. Think about what you want to say - what are the most important points? Take important documents with you, including any court order(s), contracts, financial information (if relevant), etc., so that you can leave the documents (or copies) with the lawyer if you decide to hire them. Briefly summarize your legal problem, keeping in mind that 30 minutes goes by very quickly!
- If you decide to hire the lawyer after the initial 30 minute consultation, and the lawyer agrees to represent you, you will need to work out a fee arrangement directly with the lawyer. This usually means you will be paying the lawyer's regular fees. Be certain you understand the fee arrangement.
I met with the lawyer you referred me to, but it didn't work out. Can I get another referral for the same legal issue?
No. We only give one lawyer referral for the same legal issue, unless there is a conflict of interest. If the referral we gave you did not work out, click here for information about other ways to find a lawyer and legal help.
Can I get a list of lawyers who are Lawyer Referral Service members?
No. We cannot provide a list of lawyers who are registered with the Lawyer Referral Service.
How do I use the Lawyer Referral Service?
Call the Lawyer Referral Service at:
455.3135 (Halifax Regional Municipality) or
1.800.665.9779 (toll free in NS)
When is the Lawyer Referral Service open?
Monday: 10 am to 6 pm*
Tuesday to Thursday: 10 am to 4:30 pm
Closed 1 pm to 2 pm Monday to Thursday. Closed Fridays, weekends and holidays.
*(Evening hours Monday 10 am to 6 pm - September to May only)
Please note that staff cannot accept messages for return phone calls. Calls are answered as they come into the office.