Lawyer referrals

As the regulator of lawyers, the Law Society cannot provide referrals. We can, however, direct you to other resources that will help you find the lawyer that is right for you. The following information offers suggestions on how to find the lawyer who is right for you.

The BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association offers a Lawyer Referral Service, which will provide a referral to a local lawyer willing to take on new matters in a specific area of law. A initial half-hour consultation costs $25 plus tax. The Lawyer Referral Service can also help you find the name of a BC lawyer with expertise in foreign law.

For a list of foreign lawyers who have permission to practise in BC, contact Credentials and Member Services at the Law Society.

Personal recommendations

Ask friends, relatives, co-workers, doctors, dentists or accountants for a referral.

Clubs and social service agencies

If you are a member of a club, society or other organization, there may be a lawyer who regularly assists the members of your organization. Social service agencies, counselling services or advocacy organizations may also be able to recommend a lawyer.

Legal aid

In BC, the legal aid program is run by the Legal Services Society, an independent, non-profit organization that provides legal help for people in BC. If you have a legal problem but can't afford a lawyer, you may qualify for legal aid.

Current practice status

If you know the name of a lawyer, you can verify the lawyer’s current status and contact information using the Law Society’s Lawyer Directory.

Search the Law Society’s hearing decisions and admissions database to see if a lawyer is currently cited or has in the past been cited for violations of Law Society Rules or the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia.

Search the unauthorized practitioners database to ensure the individual is not among those the Law Society has identified as illegally offering legal services or misrepresenting themselves as a lawyer. 

Verify a law firm website

Scammers often create deceptively realistic websites in order to collect identification data or sell fraudulent services. Below are some tips for ensuring a law firm website is legitimate:

  • Look for Americanisms:
    • wooden gavels are not used in Canadian courts
    • lawyers are not called “attorneys” in Canada
  • Use an online service such as WHOIS to check the domain registration. If the firm purports to be local, but the registrant is in another country, it may be a fake site.
  • Check the URL: a website that has an “https” tag is generally more secure.
  • Check the site’s security status in your browser’s address bar. Most browsers display a padlock icon to the left of the website’s URL if the site is safe.