Is the LSUC referral service right for you?

In response to growing public demand, the Law Society expanded its referral service last year to include paralegals.

The service is featured at the Law Society’s website and people can obtain referrals online. It is promoted through mail-outs, advertising campaigns, and Members on the service are referred on a rotational basis.

The Law Society Referral Service (LSRS) gives people with legal issues the name of a licensed paralegal. The person leaves a call-back number and waits up to three business days for a return call. Member paralegals provide a free consultation of up to 30 minutes, to determine the potential client’s rights and options.

The LSRS advises callers that they can expect the paralegal to explain:

    How the law applies to your situation
    How to use the law to solve your legal problem
    How long the legal work may take
    How much the paralegal would charge to help you

Cathy Corsetti, Chair of the Paralegal Standing Committee, would like to see more paralegals make use of the successful referral service. “The service made $335,000 in six months for paralegal members,” she notes. “It more than pays for itself, but only 145 paralegals had signed up by the end of last year.”

Law Society statistics show that 13.1 per cent of consultations resulted in retainers, at an average of $1,760 per retainer. Small Claims, Landlord and Tenant Board (for both tenants and landlords), Highway Traffic Offences, employment issues and summary conviction offences were the most-common referral matters.

While the lion’s share of referrals are in the Greater Toronto Area, the service functions province-wide. In the London area, nine paralegals shared 121 referrals in the first six months the service was available to them.

The annual cost is $282.50, including tax.

How to join the Law Society Referral Service:

Complete the Online Paralegal Application

Call the Law Society:
416-947-3300 x 5000
Toll-free: 1-800-668-7380 x 5000

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One comment

  1. Ronald Rybowski · ·

    As soon as allowed I subscribed to LSUC Referral system. Every couple of months I get a couple of referrals most have either been areas I do not or cannot practice in even though my listing is correct, administrative is put down and they actually have a court matter. The best is when they say criminal when it is POA. Keeping in mind my listing is updated. Most of the time they think they are calling a Pro Bono representative and think I will give them free legal representation.

    That is the major negatives. The positive is I do get referrals from them and on some occasions I am retained for this reason I decided to pay for another year and then assess it again. I would recommend to the LSUC referrals to vet the callers better. Make sure it is made clear that every one on the system will give 30 min consultation but at the end of the consultation they will be asked to retain the services. And if I say I do not do one area of law not to send them to me or at least say this is not his area but you can ask him if he will do it for you. Mostly to be very clear that my services are not Pro Bona there are great resources for that kind of services.

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