First off, get recommendations and make sure they’re active members of the Ontario bar association. You should also ask questions—and get full answers—on their experience, approach, the client’s involvement and their fees.

First Off: Get Recommendations

Ask people for recommendations. Listen closely to those that had a problem in the same legal area, were pleased with the outcome and felt well informed throughout the whole process.

Check Around

Each province has its own provincial bar association. Call up yours and see if your lawyer is in fact registered to practice. Also, see what school they completed their degree at. If you don’t recognize your lawyer’s school, do some quick research to see what accreditations the school has.

The Consultation

Ask a lot of questions while you’ve got the person in front of you. Make sure they give full answers when addressing the following subjects: their experience with cases like yours, their approach, how involved you as the client will be and what their fee is. Pay particular attention to what experience they have—you want someone who knows what to expect in a case like yours.

Look Around the Room

What impression do you get from the lawyer’s office? Can you see the top of their desk or is it covered in papers and lunch leftovers? If you can’t stomach the room, chances are you’ll feel the same about the lawyer.

Make Eye Contact

Is the lawyer interrupting you every few minutes to answer the phone or check his BlackBerry? A good lawyer will shut off their email and cell phone and will give you their undivided attention for at least the amount of time it takes to explain your situation.

Go With Your Gut

Finally, pay attention to how the lawyer makes you feel. You’ll want to hire a lawyer that you are comfortable talking to. You need to be able to talk openly and honestly with your lawyer about all the details of your case.

Want to be even more prepared? Read our article on how to prepare for a first interview with a lawyer in London Ontario.

Will hiring a lawyer from London Ontario cost an arm and a leg? It depends on what you’re hiring them to do and how long it will take.

The rate can be anywhere from $50 to $1,000 per hour. Some lawyers may charge a flat fee or contingency rate as well.

The cost of a lawyer will depend on what you’re hiring them to do and how long it will take.

  • Most lawyers charge an hourly rate.
  • An hourly rate ranges from $50 to $1,000 per hour.

A lawyer will usually charge a fixed rate for set tasks such as:

  • Wills
  • Uncontested divorces
  • Bankruptcy filings

Tip: In some cases, particularly lawsuits, lawyers will work on a contingency fee. This means the lawyer will not charge anything up front but will take a percentage of your settlement, if your suit is successful.

A good lawyer can make all the difference in the world when it comes to a person’s legal matters. Whether it’s for dealing with a criminal or traffic matter, obtaining some advice or drawing up legal paperwork in a proper manner, it’s crucial to find a competent representative. Here are 5 tips for finding the best attorney for the job:

1) Reputation: Nothing tells more about a person than their reputation. This information can be obtained in a variety of manners. One way to begin may be by going to the Bar or Licensing Board in the province of Ontario in order to obtain a list of lawyers in London Ontario who are in good standing. There are various online referral services that will list lawyers in various locations, as well as their specialties and client reviews. Asking friends, family, neighbors and business associates about who they’ve used or heard about is an excellent way to obtain word of mouth information.

2) Specialties: Decide what legal needs you have in order to narrow your search down by lawful specialties. There is a broad range of choices out there, including those who focus on real estate, bankruptcy, divorce, criminal cases and more.

3) Communication skills: Once a person has narrowed their list to three or four possible candidates, it’s time to set up some interviews to discover which one is the best fit. A hallmark sign of a good business relationship is one with good communication. How does the office staff treat potential clients on the telephone? Are they welcoming and professional? How long is the wait to speak with or visit with an attorney? It’s important to be able to have relatively quick access to your lawyer. Having a candid conversation with the potential attorney will tell you a lot about his demeanor, knowledge base and whether the two of you click enough for a partnership.

4) Fees: This is something that must be talked about up front. Depending on the type of case and the way that this particular law office practices, fees may be hourly, per case or set on a contingency basis. A contingency basis means that the lawyer collects fees based upon the settlement that is received for the client. A retainer may be required, as well. A retainer is a lump sum of money collected by the legal practice up front. As expenses tally up, they are subtracted from this retainer.

5) Location: Having a lawyer that is conveniently located in London Ontario and well acquainted with one’s community is an important factor. Every community’s flavor is unique. In important legal matters, it’s important to have a representative who understands the region’s specific laws.

The best way to find a lawyer in London Ontario is word of mouth. Ask trusted friends, family, and/or business or professional associates who have recently used one. Then ask if they would use him or her again and if their legal fees were reasonable.

Other ways:

Internet legal directories: The Internet is an excellent source for finding attorneys in your community. Because of the interactive nature of the Internet, lawyers and law firms from London Ontario are able to provide much more detailed information to potential clients. Local or state bar association’s referral services: Most bar associations offer referral sources at no charge or for a modest fee. Phone and tell them the problem and they will hook you up with a participating attorney who handles legal problems such as yours. Keep in mind that only a small portion of the legal community signs up and the association generally make no claims as to the attorney’s expertise or skills.

  1. Employer-Paid Legal plans: Many employers, unions and credit unions offer pre-paid legal plans. These plans are given as benefits to employees and may entitle you to free or reduced cost representation on certain matters. You should check with your office administrator about whether you are enrolled in such a plan.
  2. Legal aid: You may qualify for legal aid representation at low or no cost. Legal aid primarily services low-income individuals and the qualifications for such aid can be based upon where you live, your income and family size. Legal aid representation tends to focus on landlord-tenant issues, credit, utilities, family issues, and unemployment. To find a legal aid office near you, try your local yellow pages under “legal aid,” “legal services,” or “legal assistance.”
  3. Nearby law schools: some have low-cost, no-cost clinics that provide a limited amount of legal services.
  4. Print Directories: For many decades the “Yellow Pages” were the traditional, and well-thumbed, source of listings. However, yellow page listings and/or ads do not give information about lawyer’s ability or competence. Other directories, such as a Law Directory, found in many public libraries, lists lawyers by province and city and give biographical details on each lawyer and rating information.

1. Assemble as many facts, documents and items related to your case as you can and take them with you to the interview.
2. Organize your thoughts and state your needs as clearly as possible: be assertive. Your initial goal should be to find a lawyer with whom you are comfortable and at ease when discussing your particular problem.
3. Remember, your first interview does not commit you to staying with that lawyer. You may wish to “shop around” until you are satisfied.

Describe your position as thoroughly as possible so that the lawyer will be able to determine whether or not your problem is a legal one.
If you are not familiar with any words or terms used by the lawyer in the course of the interview, do not hesitate to ask for an explanation of them.

1. Expertise
Enquire about the lawyer’s expertise:
(a) Does the lawyer specialize in your type of problem?
(b) What steps are involved in solving the problem?
(c) How much experience does the lawyer have in resolving your type of problem?

2. Time Estimate
Try to get an estimate of the time involved:
(a) Is the lawyer available immediately?
(b) What steps are involved in solving the problem?
(c) Approximately how long will each step take?
(d) Approximately how long will the whole case take?

3. Cost Estimate
Try to get an estimate of the expense involved:
(a) Approximately how much will it cost to solve your problem (including both the lawyer’s fees and other expenses)?
(b) If the case goes to court, what is the likelihood of your success-will you have to pay your opponents and/or your own court costs and lawyers fees?
(c) When will the bill come? (At the end of the case or periodically?)
(d) How does the lawyer charge? Does the lawyer charge a flat rate or does the lawyer charge by the hour?
(e) Does the lawyer charge for all phone calls?

4. Other Problems
Sometimes a solution to a legal problem is simple and straightforward. However, most cases involve some uncertainties in both the proving of facts and establishing and applying the law.
You may therefore be interested in asking your lawyer such questions as:
(a) What are the potential difficulties in your case? Is the law clear? Is there enough evidence to justify bringing a law suite?
(b) What can be done to help speed things up or reduce costs?
(c) Are there other approaches to solving your problems such as settling out of court or using a social service?