How do I find and hire a lawyer who will provide limited scope services?

To find a lawyer, go to the roster of participating lawyers who provide unbundled services in your community.  Contact one or more of the listed lawyers to confirm that they provide the services that you are seeking and ask about their fee arrangements.  When you are ready to proceed, arrange a time to meet with the lawyer either by telephone or in person.

You are not restricted to the lawyers in the Directory.  These lawyers have completed the Project’s training course on Family Law Limited Scope Services and have met the Project’s minimum practice requirements in order to be added to the Directory.  Other lawyers may be prepared to provide limited scope services

When it’s time to meet the lawyer, be sure to bring with you the documents that relate to your legal situation. Explain your problem to the lawyer, and ask the lawyer if they can provide you with the help that you want. Use the meeting to decide how you feel about the lawyer’s approach to the legal problems that you face and whether you feel confident in their abilities.

If you decide that you want to hire the lawyer, ask the lawyer how much she thinks her services will cost and ask how much money the lawyer needs to start work on your problem. Most lawyers will want to be given a deposit (called a retainer) before they begin. The amount of the deposit will likely depend upon how much work is likely to be required.

The agreement between the lawyer and the client regarding how the responsibilities will be divided, and how the lawyer will be paid for their services, should always be confirmed in a written retainer agreement.  Information about what the retainer agreement should look like is available here.

All lawyers in Ontario are members of the Law Society of Ontario. The Law Society exists to protect the public and make sure that lawyers perform their services in an ethical, competent way. Before consulting any lawyer, you may wish to confirm the lawyer is in good standing with the Law Society by using this link: Seeking Legal Help? Protect Yourself.

The Family Law Limited Scope Services Project is not responsible for the lawyers involved, the work they perform or for the amount they charge for their work. If you are unhappy with the lawyer you have hired, please contact the Law Society.

Have you worked with a lawyer who provided you with unbundled legal services in a family law matter?

Dr. Rachel Birnbaum at King’s University College, Western University is interested in hearing from clients who have used unbundled services.  Any telephone interviews will be kept strictly confidential and any information reported will be anonymous.

Dr. Birnbaum can be contacted by email at: or by phone at 1-800-265-4406 or 519-433-3491, Ext. 4431