Contracting a lawyer in Canada is a sure way out of any legal issue you might be going through in Canada. However, most people feel intimidated by the thought of contracting a lawyer.
While others think contracting a lawyer means spending a lot of money sorting legal bills. If you think your case needs a lawyer, do not hesitate to hire one. A lawyer will carefully review your legal issue and explore all the options available to handle your case.
Once you’ve decided on the next course of action, your lawyer will explain all the processes involved in your case and will give you a quote on all the fees you’ll be required to pay. A fee agreement will be issued to you, this agreement usually comes in written form.
A lawyer’s job is to help you find the best solution to your legal case. So it is advisable if you want the best out of your lawyer, always tell him/her the whole truth. Lawyers receive a starting salary of about 72,000 CAD with an average of 40 hours of work per week.
Law as a Profession in Canada
Canada has several job prospects in various fields of law. All lawyers must be called to the bar as it is the standard process. Due to the decreasing number of people going into law, job opportunities are increasing in this field.
Most Canadian lawyers prefer to read law in the states, practice there for a while and go through the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) process because it is easier than getting into a Canadian Law school. There is currently a high demand for lawyers across all fields ranging from corporate law to criminal law.
When contacting a lawyer in Canada, their fees are mostly based on several factors like their overhead costs, years of experience, the severity of your legal issue, etc. Be rest assured that your lawyer will explain all the billing structures to you before agreeing.
Law Degree in Canada
Most Canadian law schools require a bachelor’s degree from intending students or the students must have completed 90 credit hours towards a bachelor’s degree before entering any law school in Canada. Intending lawyers must sit for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) – an exam that tests students understanding of the components of Canadian law for them to enter law school.
Law school in Canada
There are several law schools in Canada, depending on the province where you find yourself. Some of them are:
- University of Alberta Faculty of Law
- Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia
- Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Lakehead University
- University of Calgary Faculty of Law
- Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law
- University of Manitoba Faculty of Law
- McGill University Faculty of Law
- Faculté de Droit de l’ Université McGill
- University of New Brunswick Faculty of Law
- Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
- University of Ottawa Faculty of Law
- Université d’Ottawa Faculté de Droit
- Queen’s University Faculty of Law
- Ryerson University Faculty of Law
- University of Saskatchewan College of Law
- Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law
- University of Toronto Faculty of Law
- University of Victoria Faculty of Law
- Western University, Canada
- University of Windsor Faculty of Law
Lawyer Hourly Rate in Canada
Generally, a lawyer’s hourly rates as charged in a private firm rates are between 75.00 CAD – 750.00 CAD. The work of lawyers in Canada is to guide their clients through the judicial system. With the help of a lawyer, settlement can be reached on a client’s case depending on the law effective to the case. Most people avoid speaking to a lawyer about their legal issues because some feel:
- They are innocent so they do not need a lawyer
- That lawyers don’t do enough
- While for others they feel the legal fees are too expensive
Above all, there is a great value in employing the services of a lawyer despite the cost when the need arises. Mostly if the lawyer delivers a result that preserves things in life that are valuable like life, security, property, etc.
The cost of contracting a lawyer in Canada depends on the uniqueness of the case, varying degrees of simplicity or complexity. Every case brought before a lawyer has its degrees of work required to achieve the desired result of the client.
As a client contracting a lawyer in Canada, you can choose to pay a;
- Flat rate
This is also known as a fixed fee. It is a pre-arranged total of fees that are paid before a lawyer’s work on a legal matter is done. Fields of law where flat rates are applicable are:
- Real Estate Law
- Family Law
- Wills & Estates Law
- Corporate, Commercial & Business Law
- Immigration Law
A flat rate is attractive to most clients because they love knowing what they are going to pay before committing to the services.
Real estate lawyers charge a fixed rate of between $1800 to $2,000 CAD for their services. This fee would typically include HST, Lawyer fee and disbursements.
- Lawyer Hourly fees
Hourly fees depend on the lawyer’s experience and other tenets of economics. Generally, lawyer’s hourly rates are charged in a private firm rate between 75.00 CAD – 750.00 CAD.
A lawyer with 10 years of experience can charge up to $300/hr while business lawyers in Toronto charge around $350-$700/hr.
Most clients are not comfortable with hourly billing as they don’t know what the total will be. Some feel the value they receive from your services is less than what they paid. While others feel you might be taking your time with their matter so as to charge more.
- Capped rate
This is like hourly billing. This method allows a client to predetermine the hour limit beforehand. This means that before the session begins the hours to be spent will be stated. You can decide to pay after the work is done or when the capped time is met.
- Sliding fee
Also referred to as the sliding-scale fee, this is a legal payment model that is determined by the client’s income/family size. Every client is not charged at the same rate. Those with lower income will be charged a lower rate, etc.
Other payment models are:
The average lawyer in salary Canada is 75,000 CAD yearly. Below is an insight:
Yearly Fees (CAD)
Lawyer cum paralegal instructor
Major Law fields in Canada
- Complex Litigation
- Corporate Law
- Tax Law
- Intellectual Property
- Civil Rights
- Animal Rights
- Sports and Entertainment
- Family Law
- Elder Law
Law Firms in Canada
Canada’s vast legal market is home to several prominent global law firms. Some of them are:
- Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
- Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP
- Fasken LLP
- Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
- Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP