Area of Law: Services for Lawyers and Paralegals
Answer # 933
Law Society Referral Service (LSRS)Region: Ontario Answer # 933
The Law Society Referral Service (LSRS) is a service provided by the Law Society of Ontario to help individuals find lawyers and paralegals. Essentially, for an annual fee of about $300, lawyers and paralegals from across Ontario can have their names added to the roster of lawyers and paralegals in the LSRS. When members of the public call the service, LSRS will match the caller with a lawyer or paralegal in their geographic region who practices in the area of law needed. Licensees may now apply to join LSRS through their Law Society Portal Account. The terms and conditions are listed in the Portal.
The LSRS program details are set out in the Law Society website, and include the following:
As a member of the Law Society Referral Service you agree to:
- Provide LSRS clients with an initial consultation of up to 30 minutes at no charge to determine if in fact a legal problem requiring a lawyer or paralegal exists.
- Tell clients what will be involved and the approximate cost required to remedy their particular situation, before you undertake any legal work on their behalf.
- Complete and return the consultation notice to LSRS within 40 days of initial client contact.
When clients call the LSRS:
- They are asked to briefly explain their legal issue. LSRS agents are trained to correctly define the various areas of law in order to make an appropriate referral. Agents do not provide legal advice or opinions to LSRS clients.
- Referrals are made on a rotational basis, based on geography and area of law.
- Clients are provided with the name and telephone number of a lawyer or paralegal and are given a referral number to be given to the lawyer or paralegal when contact is made.
- Clients are advised that legal work is not covered by the free half-hour consultation.
- For every referral provided by LSRS, a consultation notice will be sent to the member.
- Information gathered from consultation notices is kept strictly confidential. The statistics submitted assist the Law Society to gauge the effectiveness of the service.
- LSRS reserves the right to remove members from the Law Society Referral Service for failure to return completed notices within 40 days.
Rules of membership:
- You agree to accept all clients referred by the LSRS for an initial consultation of up to 30 minutes, provided there is no conflict of interest and the referral is not otherwise deemed improper. Refer to the Law Society of Ontario’s Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 2.04 for guidance in this matter.
- If you must decline a referral, please instruct the client to contact the Law Society Referral Service at 1-800-268-8326. A LSRS agent will provide a new referral to the client after making a quick confirmation call to you to verify the initial referral was declined.
As a member of LSRS you will be removed from the service if you:
- Cease to be entitled to practice with the Law Society of Ontario, (i.e., suspension, revocation).
- Are under investigation by the Law Society of Ontario’s investigation, discipline, audit or complaint’s department.
- Fail to update your practice information, address or telephone number.
- Fail to complete and return LSRS consultation notices within 40 days.
You now haveoptions: