If you are a lawyer interested in participating in this program, the following information may interest you. If you are a member of the public seeking legal advice click here.
The BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association operates the Lawyer Referral Service, funded by the Law Foundation of BC. The Service enables members of the public to consult with a lawyer for up to 30 minutes for a fee of $25. After the consultation, the fees to be charged are strictly between the lawyer and the client. The lawyer is not obliged to accept the applicant’s case and the applicant is under no obligation to retain the lawyer. CBA and non-CBA members are welcome to participate.
How it Works
Lawyers enroll by completing the attached enrollment form. The lawyers’ names circulate on rotation through each of the panels (areas of law) in which they enroll. These lists are automatically rotated in our computer database.
The Lawyer Referral operator receives a telephone call from a member of the public and after screening to determine the category of law required, provides the appropriate lawyer’s name and advises as follows:
- it is the applicant’s responsibility to make the appointment;
- the lawyer will charge $25 for up to the first 30 minutes of consultation but after that period, the fees are strictly between the lawyer and the applicant;
- when the applicant calls the lawyer to make the appointment, the applicant should advise that the lawyer’s name was provided by the Lawyer Referral Service; this is to let the lawyer know that he or she is only to charge this minimal fee.
A confirmation of the referral is then faxed, emailed or mailed to the lawyer, depending on the lawyer’s choice. If you do not receive a referral from us, but someone claims to have been referred to you through the Service, the most likely reason is word-of-mouth referral from a previously satisfied client. Such informal referrals are beyond the control of the BC Branch office and if they do occur, it is a matter for the lawyer to deal with as he/she think best.
Once a referral is provided to the applicant, the lawyer’s name is rotated to the bottom of the referral list. If you have not been contacted by the applicant we refer to you within two weeks, you may advise the Lawyer Referral Service and your name will automatically revert to the top of the list.
Your registration in the Lawyer Referral Service is voluntary; however you must maintain membership in good standing with the Law Society of BC in order to remain enrolled in our Service. You have the same professional obligations to Lawyer Referral clients as to any other client (read important Instruction Letter attached).
Many lawyers enroll in the Lawyer Referral Service as a public service, and have few expectations with respect to gaining clients. Others find the Service a good source of client referrals. Regardless of your motivation, we encourage you to get involved in this worthwhile CBA program.
per the Lawyer Referral Service Advisory Committee
“I find offering this service to be a rewarding experience both in terms of providing a source of clients and a source of pleasure in having helped people who cannot afford a lawyer but need direction on how to proceed in the legal waters!”
- Marianne Walters
Application for Lawyer Referral Service Registration
Courts and Judiciary
Court of Appeal of British Columbia
Provincial Court of British Columbia
Supreme Court of British Columbia