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French Language Initiatives

For Lawyers and Paralegals

When lawyers and paralegals have clients who speak French, they have a responsibility to advise them of their French-language rights, as set out in the Law Society’s Rules of Professional Conduct and Paralegal Rules of Conduct. The resources included below describe lawyers and paralegals’ responsibilities to advise their clients of their language rights, to discuss when and in what circumstances those responsibilities apply, and to ensure that lawyers are aware of their responsibility in this respect.

For the Public

The following is a brochure for members of the public on their right to receive legal services in French.

You have a legal issue - You speak French 

French Language Services Protocol

Since October 4, 2014, there is a protocol in place between the Law Society of Ontario and the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner to address complaints received about the Law Society’s French language services.

The protocol lists the terms and conditions under which the Commissioner may refer a complaint to the Law Society for investigation, and details the process by which the complaint will be investigated, which will promote equitable access to services in French.

The full text of the protocol is available here.

French Language Services Policy

In 2015, the Law Society of Ontario adopted a French Language Services Policy to complement its obligations to provide French language services as per By-Law 2.

The policy is available here.


Terms or Concepts Explained