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Practice Management Helpline

The Law Society’s Practice Management Helpline is a confidential telephone service for Ontario lawyers and paralegals.

Our Mandate

The Law Society’s Practice Management Helpline answers questions about the Rules of Professional Conduct, the Paralegal Rules of Conduct, and other professionalism and practice management topics, including:

  • paralegal scope of practice under By-Law 4,
  • client identification and verification obligations of By-Law 7.1 , and
  • the trust account and record keeping requirements of By-Law 9.

There are limits to the assistance that the Helpline can provide.  The Helpline cannot:

  • provide formal oral or written opinions
  • discuss substantive or procedural law, except as the law relates to the Helpline’s Mandate
  • advise on entire transactions
  • review documents
  • mediate matters between lawyers or paralegals, or their staff or firms
  • assist with complaints that have been made to the Law Society
  • assess the conduct of another lawyer or paralegal, or
  • offer counselling or supports related to a lawyer or paralegal’s personal issues. 

The Helpline does not provide assistance to the public. Please see Public Resources.

If you are an Ontario lawyer, paralegal, law student, judge or one of their family members and you require support related to addiction, mental or physical health, work-life balance, career, family or other personal issues, please contact the Member Assistance Program.

To reach other departments of the Law Society, please see the Departmental Contacts.

About the Helpline

The Helpline is staffed by experienced representatives and counsel. If your matter requires counsel input, a member of the Helpline’s counsel team will contact you.

The Helpline is a service for Ontario lawyers and paralegals that is strictly confidential, even from other divisions or departments of the Law Society. However, it is not anonymous. When you call to discuss your situation, we will verify your identity as an Ontario-licensed lawyer or paralegal (or his or her authorized representative) to confirm that you are eligible to use our services before we answer your professional responsibility or practice management questions. 

Helpline counsel, like all Ontario-licensed lawyers, remain bound by their obligations under rule 7.1-3 of the Rules of Professional Conduct to report lawyer or paralegal conduct in certain limited circumstances. 

Preparing to call the Helpline

Before contacting the Helpline, consider reviewing the Helpline's Frequently Asked Questions and using the Law Society's Decision Making Checklist to help resolve your professional responsibility or practice management question or issue.  The Checklist will assist you in forming or framing your question or issue, determining your professional obligations, and identifying options for resolving the situation in accordance with those obligations.  The Checklist also contains a list of available resources and supports that may guide your decision-making process. 

If you have specific questions about how to comply with your professional obligations or navigate practice management issues in the context of COVID-19, consider reviewing the Law Society’s Frequently Asked Practice Management Questions regarding COVID-19 before contacting the Helpline.

Consider the following when preparing to contact or contacting the Helpline:

  • The Helpline cannot assist you with a complaint. The Helpline cannot prevent a complaint from being filed against you, assist you with a complaint if one has already been filed against you, or discuss an open complaint.
  • The Helpline will speak with Ontario-licensed lawyers or paralegals or, where appropriate, their authorized representatives. In some cases, the Helpline will answer inquiries from a lawyer or paralegal’s authorized representative (e.g., an assistant, clerk, or student calling on a lawyer or paralegal’s behalf). In other cases, the Helpline’s representative or counsel will need to speak directly with the lawyer or paralegal. This may occur because an authorized representative does not have sufficient information about the situation or there may be significant risk to the lawyer or paralegal if the situation is not handled with care.
  • Set out detailed information in your voicemail.  Because of the Helpline’s call volume it will be necessary for you to leave a voicemail.  If you leave a voicemail, we will call you back within one business day. To assist the Helpline in processing your inquiry quickly, provide the following information in your voicemail:

    • Your full name, including the spelling of your last name
    • Your Law Society number
    • Your phone number
    • Your question or issue
    • Any restrictions on your availability for a return call
    • Whether the matter is urgent or time-sensitive
  • Leave only one message. If you have contacted the Helpline more than once about the same issue, let the representative or counsel know so that there is only one person handling your inquiry. If you contact us more than once, it may actually take longer to receive a reply as we will need to determine who will respond.
  • Ask your question at the beginning of the call. The representative or counsel will likely have specific questions for you and you can fill in background details as necessary. 
  • Make notes of the information that you provide to the Helpline and about your discussion of the issues raised with the representative and/or counsel.  The Helpline retains neither copies of correspondence or documentation sent to the Helpline by email, fax, or mail, nor detailed notes about the information provided or discussed during a call.  Lawyers and paralegals contacting the Helpline are encouraged to maintain their own records of inquiries made to the Helpline.
  • Follow up with us if you have not received a return call within one business day. The Helpline endeavors to respond to all telephone inquiries within one business day. If you have not received a response from the Helpline, call us back and indicate when you previously left a message.  There may, for example, have been an issue with audibility or we may not have received your message.

Contact us

We want to hear from you and we are here to help.

Please call the Law Society at 416-947-3315 or toll free 1-800-668-7380 extension 3315, Monday to Friday 9:00 am-5:00 pm EST, and select the option to connect with the Helpline.  Inquiries will be returned by telephone within one business day in most cases.


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