Choosing a Lawyer
There is no difference in training and professional qualifications between Legal Aid Manitoba (LAM) staff lawyers and private bar lawyers. All are qualified professionals in good standing with The Law Society of Manitoba.
Some private bar lawyers accept legal aid clients. If you go to a private bar lawyer, be sure to tell that lawyer, at the start, that you want to apply for legal aid.
If your application for legal aid is accepted, LAM will pay your lawyer a set fee for handling your case. If you do not choose a lawyer, LAM will pick one for you.
The Legal Aid Manitoba Certificate
A Legal Aid Certificate is a document that authorizes a lawyer to represent you in one particular matter. If you need a lawyer to work on another problem, or if you change your mind about what you want the lawyer to do for you, you must complete another application for legal aid or have the original Certificate changed.
Change of Lawyer
Changes in lawyers are costly to LAM and may cause delays in the court process.
LAM will consider allowing you to change lawyers only in exceptional circumstances, such as your lawyer is moving away.
How to Request a Change of Lawyer
- Write a letter stating the reason why you wish to change lawyers. Provide the name of the lawyer you would like appointed.
- Send the letter to the Area Director at the Area Office where you applied for legal aid.
- LAM will send you a notice of decision within two weeks of receipt of your letter.
Failure to Gain Approval
You must gain approval from LAM before you change lawyers. If you simply go to a new lawyer, you may have to pay the new lawyer yourself.