The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society regulates Nova Scotia’s legal profession. Learn more about who we are and what we do.
We cannot provide legal advice or lawyer referrals. This is a guide for the public to common resources.
I need a Lawyer
The Society regulates Nova Scotia’s legal profession lawyers. We do not recommend lawyers.
If you’re looking for a lawyer referral, please contact the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia at 1 800 665 9779 (toll free) or 902 455 3135 or visit the LISNS website at www.legalinfo.org.
The Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia (LISNS) provides easy to understand legal information to help you deal with everyday legal problems, including finding a lawyer or mediator. LISNS also maintains a detailed directory of free and low cost legal help in Nova Scotia on its website
Legal Aid & Additional Resources:
- Dalhousie Legal Aid Service provides legal services for economically vulnerable Nova Scotians in the following areas: family law, youth criminal law, tenancy and housing rights, disputes with NS Power, and debt problems.
- The Nova Scotia Legal Aid Commission provides legal representation and summary advice service to eligible applicants in matters of family and criminal law, and issues involving Income Assistance, Canada Pension Plan disability, Residential Tenancies (landlord/tenant), and Employment Insurance.
- Summary Advice Counsel is a free lawyer available through Family Law Nova Scotia for basic legal advice about family matters in Halifax, Dartmouth, Ingonish, Port Hawkesbury, Pictou, Antigonish, Amherst, and Truro. Your case or issue must be related to the court where the SAC lawyer is located—For example, if you are making an application to the court in Halifax, you must make an appointment with the lawyer in Halifax.
- French Legal services: L’Association des juristes d’expression française de la Nouvelle-Écosse (AJEFNÉ) is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to promote and improve access to French legal services. AJEFNÉ has a free legal information centre, Justice Access Centre, located at 1663 Brunswick Street in Halifax. The Centre offers free legal information in all areas of the law, and services in French and English. The Centre also offers legal information in French by calling 902 433 2085 (Halifax) or 1 844 250 8471 (toll-free).
I have been denied representation by Legal Aid. Can the Society help?
No. We do not have the authority to interfere with Legal Aid’s processes. Legal Aid is entitled to determine who is eligible for their services and what matters they will take on. Legal Aid outlines the process for appealing the decision on their website.
I need legal advice & information
The Society does not provide legal advice however we’ve compiled a list of resources:
Legal Information Resources:
- General Legal Information: The Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia (LISNS) provides easy to understand legal information to help you deal with everyday legal problems
- For Self-Represented Litigants: The Courts of Nova Scotia holds free clinics for self-represented litigants who have limited or no experience navigating the legal system. Private one-hour sessions with a volunteer practicing lawyer and a law student are also available by appointment. The website has detailed information about all levels of court in the province, as well as court processes and fees, court decisions, and public information including links to information kits for Representing Yourself in Court.
- The Courts of Nova Scotia also provide information on jury duty, Small Claims Court and court forms
- Family Law Information: Family Law Nova Scotia is a resource website that details the law, processes and services that makeup family law in Nova Scotia.
- By dialling 211 or visiting the Nova Scotia 211 website, members of the public can easily and quickly connect to the community, legal and social services they need, anywhere in the province, regardless of where they’re located.
- For Immigrants: Immigration Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) can refer immigrants to appropriate legal services in Nova Scotia. 902-423-3607 or 1-866-431-6472.
- Criminal Case Information: The Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service has information providing an explanation of the criminal case, from investigation to appeal the verdict or sentence.
- The Government of Canada’s Department of Justice website offers a number of information resources relating to federal laws, family law, criminal justice, and Canada’s justice system.
Can the Society assist with disputes about my lawyer’s fees?
No. The Society cannot assist with disputes about your lawyer’s fees.
The Small Claims Court has the authority to reduce the account in appropriate circumstances. The address of the Small Claims Court in your area can be found at: www.courts.ns.ca
I need help finding a will
The Society can circulate a missing will notice to our members through our monthly newsletter InForum.
I have a concern with a lawyer
If you have concerns relating to the ethical conduct of a lawyer in Nova Scotia, we may be able to help. We ensure all lawyers in the province practise ethically and competently and we investigate concerns related to a lawyer’s ethical conduct.
Learn more about sharing your concerns with the Society
NSBS Guides to Understanding Power of Attorney & Bail
These guides “Understanding Power of Attorney” and “Understanding Bail” were created for the Society by Maria Rizzetto through Pro Bono Dalhousie.
The NSBS guide “Understanding Power of Attorney” will help to answer questions including:
- Who should be my power of attorney?
- What does my power of attorney control?
- Do I have to pay my power of attorney?
The NSBS guide “Understanding Bail” includes a pyramid showing how the bail procedure changes with the seriousness of the offence & more:
Public Legal Education and Information (PLEI) Resources for Families
The following Public Legal Education and Information (PLEI) resources provide information about the Divorce Act amendments. Materials are available on the family law pages of Justice Canada’s website.