Many people are now choosing to represent themselves in court, but they may lack confidence or have difficulty knowing where to start.

You have a right to be self-represented in your legal case.  The internet can really help prepare you for self-representation.  However, there are limitations.  Think of it like working on your car.  You can youtube how to change the oil in your car, but would put yourself in serious danger if you decided to re-do the brakes yourself.  This is where legal coaching comes in.

What Legal Coaches Do:

Legal Coaches are lawyers who work with self-represented clients to provide them with the specialized knowledge they need, when they need it.  A coach can help you strategize your case, provide direction, explain rules and procedure, and be available when tricky questions or decisions arise.  A Legal Coach can help you from task to task, from helping you file an application to helping you prepare for trial.

This can range from providing you with advice on an ongoing negotiation or mediation, or help you draft your court applications, Financial Statement or Affidavits.  A Legal Coach can also help you prepare for a Judicial Case Conference, or attend a Judicial Case Conference with you.

Legal coaching is new in Canada, and only offered by a limited number of lawyers.  However, it provides the client with the resources to plan and execute their legal case without the expense of a full service lawyer.  Legal Coaches charge you only for the particular services you contract them for.

A key advantage of using a Legal Coach is that they can keep you on track.  They will help you develop your own advocacy skills.  A Legal Coach will also help you prepare research and case law for your negotiations or trial.  They will ensure that you comply with the Rules of Court.  They can be accessible by phone, video conferencing, and email.

What Legal Coaches Charge:

Legal coaches charge approximately $400 per hour, or less if you contract for a flat fee service.  Often you buy their time in 15 minute blocks.  If you will be needing service coverage for a few months, most legal coaches will offer packages which are discounted by 10-20 percent.

Legal coaches are a “pay as you go” service.  This means no large retainers up front.  You buy an hour of their time and when that is used up, you have the choice of buying a further hour.  You do not have to fear a large bill at the end of the month.  You can also cancel any time if you feel the service is not right for you.

Legal Coaches are not for everyone, but if you are representing yourself, it can have tremendous value.  The use of Legal Coaches is one way you can reduce your legal bills.

Michael Butterfield

Lawyer, Mediator

Arbitrator and Parenting Coordinator