How much does a lawyer cost?

It is important to know what types of fees you may have to pay a lawyer.

When you go see a lawyer, you should ask for an estimate of what the work will cost. Sometimes, you pay a set fee for a particular task. Sometimes you pay an hourly rate.

If you are well-prepared for your meetings with your lawyer, they might be shorter and you could save money. Find out more in How do I work effectively with a lawyer?

You may also have to pay disbursements. This is what lawyers charge to cover expenses, such as the cost of faxing, photocopying or ordering official documents on your behalf.

You may be asked to sign a retainer agreement. This is a contract that lists costs and other terms.

If you cannot pay for a lawyer:

For More Information

  • Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) - Provides access to legal services for people who are unable to afford them on their own. The website includes the LAO newsletter, publications, frequently asked questions and legal aid clinic listings.
  • - This website has information about how to find lawyer and how to work effectively with a lawyer. It also has resources for those who cannot afford a lawyer or who do qualify for legal aid.
  • Justice Ontario - This website has information about Ontario's legal system, including family and criminal law, lawsuits, human rights, wills and estates, and tickets and fines. You can get legal information in over 170 languages.
  • Law Society of Ontario (LSO) - The governing body for Ontario lawyers. The LSO regulates the practice of law in Ontario and protects members of the public when they hire a lawyer.
  • CLEO - Legal Services Information - Clear language publications on getting legal help.
  • JusticeNet - A not-for-profit service helping people in need of legal expertise, whose income is too high to access legal aid and too low to afford standard legal fees.
Last updated: May 24, 2023 4001399