Choosing and Working with a Lawyer

What questions can you ask to be sure you are getting the right lawyer for you? How can you make the best use of a lawyer’s time and experience? The following resources may provide some guidance.

For services that will help you find a lawyer, see the section Finding a Lawyer.

CPLEA Suggested Resources

Not sure where to begin finding answers to your questions. Get started with our suggested resources. See additional resources below for more information.

Alberta Resources

This website is provided as a free service to Albertans seeking limited scope legal services. Check out their Guide for Clients which is intended to help clients understand the legal service options available, and whether limited legal services are right for you. The site also provides a listing of Alberta lawyers participating in the service.

Related legal topic(s): Lawyers, Legal services, Self-representation

From the public portion of the Law Society of Alberta website, this section provides information to guide the public in finding and working with a lawyer. This is a guide to how the legal process works, understanding lawyer fees and other frequently asked questions.

Related legal topic(s): Lawyers, Legal process

If you are leaving an abusive relationship, a family law lawyer can play a key role in helping you understand your legal options, rights, and responsibilities. This is one of a series of CPLEA resources in the Families and the Law: Domestic Violence Series. To view a list of all resources in this series click here.

Related legal topic(s): Lawyers, Legal process


Your first meeting with a lawyer is an important step in dealing with your legal dispute. In addition to giving you a chance to meet each other, you can also learn a lot about your legal dispute, and what the result is likely to be. This resource is produced by  the Justice Education Society of BC. It walks you through the process of meeting with a lawyer for the first time: what to expect, how to prepare and things you will want to know.

Related legal topic(s): Lawyers, Legal process

This publication by Community Legal Assistance Society (BC) will help you prepare for your interview with a lawyer. It describes what information to gather and how to collect necessary documents and prepare your written statement. It then explains four guidelines for communicating effectively in the interview. It also includes two worksheets to help with information gathering. (PDF - 6 p.)

Related legal topic(s): Lawyers

This article from lists the warning signs that your work with a lawyer is not going well and provides some tips for making the change.

Related legal topic(s): Lawyers

The Law Society recognizes that First Nation, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) peoples may face unique access to justice challenges. The society has published  the following 3 resources especially for indigenous peoples:

  1. Guide: Handling Everyday Legal Problems
  2. Fact Sheet: What the Law Society does
  3. Fact Sheet: Working with a lawyer or paralegal
Related legal topic(s): Legal services

This online resource is produced by the Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick. The aim of this pamphlet is to help you know when you might need legal advice, how to choose a lawyer and what to expect in dealing with lawyers. It is intended to take the worry out of looking for - and meeting with - a lawyer. It is also available for download as a PDF.

Related legal topic(s): Lawyers