How to find a lawyer and prepare for a first interview


This page was written to help you:
(a) Find a lawyer if you need one;
(b) Prepare for your first interview with a lawyer;
(c) Ask your lawyer those questions which will enable you to know the likely cost and outcome of your case.


1. The Law Centre
If you do not know the name of a lawyer or if you feel that you may not be able to afford a lawyer you should contact The Law Centre. The telephone number of The Law Centre is 250-385-1221. You will then be able to make an appointment to obtain leagal advice or assistance.

2. Lawyer Referral Service
For those persons who can afford a lawyer, the Lawyer Referral Service will provide you with the name of a lawyer who specializes in the type of problem you have. One attractive feature of the Lawyer Referral Service is that clients only pay $25.00 for advice given during the first half hour. After the first half hour ordinary legal fees must be paid by the client. If you wish to use the Lawyer Referral Service please telephone 1-800-663-1919.


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?


1. Be aware of how your case in progressing.
2. Keep in contact with your lawyer.
3.Ask to receive a copy of all documents and correspondence relating to your case, and keep your own file.
4.Ask to be kept advised about how much the case is costing.