You can rely on a lawyer to help you with most legal processes: founding a business, getting married, getting divorced or writing a will.

In addition, you can ask your lawyer for advice at any time, whether to avoid a dispute or to prepare your case as the plaintiff or defendant in a trial. You can also ask your lawyer to represent you at your trial.

Role played by lawyers

Lawyers generally act on behalf of another person, under a power of attorney, in order to take certain legal actions. They play various roles, depending on whether they are providing advice or pleading in court.


The role of a lawyer acting as counsel is to:

  • inform you about the laws and regulations that apply to your situation;
  • advise you on ways to settle a dispute or implement a plan. 

In addition, a lawyer can help you draw up various documents, such as a joint application for divorce on the basis of a draft agreement, a cohabitation agreement or a will. The lawyer can also draw them up for you.

In some cases, lawyers act as mediators.


The role of a lawyer acting as a litigator is generally to plead your case in court, by representing you and defending your point of view.

Obligations as a lawyer

Lawyers are bound to comply with a range of obligations, and owe their clients a duty of:

  • integrity and transparency;
  • professional secrecy and the avoidance of conflicts of interest;
  • availability, prudence and diligence;
  • independence and impartiality.

Lawyers must be loyal, honest, independent and impartial. They must also 

  • be prudent in their discussions;
  • intervene quickly and effectively to avoid causing you harm;
  • earn your trust;
  • be competent, and accept a case only if they knowledge and skills in the relevant field.

Lawyers have a duty to advise. They must inform you, in plain language,

  • of the risks you may face;
  • of the upcoming steps in your legal process;
  • of the deadlines you must meet.


Lawyers' fees vary, depending on various factors. 

In general, a lawyer must make an agreement with you that specifies:

  • the cost of the lawyer's services;
  • the services that the lawyer will provide.

Find a lawyer

Visit the Barreau du Québec website to find a lawyer This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Last update: March 27, 2024


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