Know Any Good Lawyers?
|This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Cliff Thorstenson, April 2017.|
By a "good" lawyer, we mean one that knows what he or she is doing, has experience dealing with the relevant areas of law, communicates effectively, is efficient and affordable, and will work hard for his or her client. The Resource List describes several legal services that provide information and assistance and some limited advice and representation, but you really can't beat full representation by a lawyer or legally supervised advocate.
If you do not know a lawyer who can help you:
- See if you qualify for legal aid representation: people with low incomes who are facing serious criminal, family or immigration issues may qualify for legal aid. If you qualify for legal aid, the Legal Services Society will appoint a lawyer for you. For information on applying for legal aid representation, see legal aid representation in the Resource List.
- Speak with friends or helping professionals who have worked with lawyers recently, and see if they can recommend someone.
- Contact the Lawyer Referral Service and ask for the names of lawyers near you who practice the type of law you need (see Lawyer Referral Service in the Resource List).
- Do an internet search for lawyers in your area or check the Yellow Pages of the local phone book under the heading "Lawyers." You might want to call one that (a) is near you, (b) practices in the area of law you want, and (c) offers a free initial consultation. If the contacted lawyer does not do that type of work, he or she may know another lawyer who does.
|Most lawyers specialize, so it is useful to get a lawyer who practices in the area of law that covers your legal problem. Also, non-lawyer advocates (within their areas of experience, such as welfare or tenancy) may be as knowledgeable as many lawyers. See the tip sheet "What an Advocate Can Do For You."|
What happens next
The lawyer will want to meet with you (either in person or by phone) to discuss your case. Before meeting with a lawyer or advocate, complete the Preparing for Your Interview form included in this Guide. Make sure you bring copies of all documents relating to your case. A meeting with a lawyer is more effective if you are well prepared.
At the end of the meeting, you can discuss whether the lawyer will do more work for you, and how much that work will cost.
Where to get help
See the Resource List for a list of legal resources, including lawyers and legally supervised advocates who can provide advice and sometimes representation for little or no cost.
Complete the Preparing for Your Interview form included in this Guide before speaking with an advocate or lawyer.
|Legal Help for British Columbians © Cliff Thorstenson and Courthouse Libraries BC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.|
A person licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction. See "barrister and solicitor."
A lawyer or a person other than a lawyer who helps clients with legal issues; to argue a position on behalf of a client.
In law, a court proceeding; a lawsuit; an action; a cause of action; a claim. Also the historic decisions of the court. See "action," "case law, " "court proceeding," and "precedent."