Don’t want to pay for a lawyer on a full retainer? Just need assistance from a lawyer with part of your matter?

Smith Law’s Legal Coaching Clinic offers legal services on an alternative model to the traditional retainer. In a traditional retainer, a lawyer is retained to represent the client in all aspects of a family law matter. While this is the most comprehensive form of legal representation, it can be cost prohibitive for some people. Legal coaching, on the other hand, is a way for individuals who do not have a lawyer to access important legal advice and assistance with their family law matter in a way that gives them full control over the kind and scope of work done, and billed for, by a family lawyer.

Client Empowerment

Legal coaching is designed to empower clients, enabling them to handle their legal issues with greater confidence and understanding. The coach provides tools and knowledge but doesn’t take over the case.

Focused Guidance

Coaches offer specific advice on legal strategy, document preparation, court procedures, and negotiation tactics. They can help clarify legal concepts and suggest approaches to manage a case effectively.


Since clients handle much of the work themselves, legal coaching is more affordable than full representation. It’s a valuable option for those who cannot afford or do not wish to hire a lawyer for full-service representation/retainer.


Clients can seek coaching for specific parts of their legal process, depending on their needs and comfort level. This flexibility allows them to seek help for the most challenging aspects of their case while managing others independently.

Education and Skill-Building

Legal coaching also focuses on educating clients about the legal system, helping them develop skills to navigate their case more effectively. This education can be beneficial for their current situation and any future legal matters.

With legal coaching, you will meet with a lawyer virtually (by zoom) and the lawyer will work with you on what you would like assistance with. The lawyer will not do any work outside of this session, and this means, you are not going to be billed for work/time beyond what you have booked.

What kind of coaching is provided?

The lawyer can assist you with a wide range of issues, activities and documents, including:

  • Reviewing a financial statement (yours or the other party)
  • Reviewing pleadings or court documents (such as Application, Answer, Reply, materials for Motion to Change, Motion materials, conference materials, Requests for Information, Court Orders, Minutes of Settlement, Offers to Settle, etc)
  • Reviewing correspondence
  • Assistance identifying what evidence to gather/seek from the opposing party
  • Reviewing evidence and provide suggestions


Upcoming Case Conference. You can book a legal coaching session with a lawyer to have a lawyer help you work on the draft materials and/or to review the materials.

Upcoming Motion. You can book a legal coaching session with a lawyer to have the lawyer help you prepare your speaking notes/ oral arguments/submissions to the court.

  • ILA (independent legal advice) certificates for any domestic contract (separation agreement, marriage contract, cohabitation agreement)
  • Reviewing domestic contracts (separation agreement, marriage contract, cohabitation agreement)
  • Attending court
  • Corresponding on your behalf with opposing counsel or opposing party
  • Reviewing/drafting/revising any document outside of the legal coaching session
  • Serving any documents on any party
  • Filing any documents with the Court

Important: Things to Remember

  • The lawyer will not have the benefit of having reviewed all the relevant documents, evidence, materials in your matter. This means they are only able to provide limited advice/assistance, since they don’t know all the facts.
  • The lawyer may not have enough time in a given session to give you all the assistance and information you need.
  • You can book multiple coaching sessions, half an hour, an hour or more at a time.
  • The lawyer will be there to help you as best as they can with the time allotted. You and the lawyer will work together to make the most of the time.
  • You will be and will remain solely responsible for all aspects of your matter and the materials reviewed by the lawyer during your sessions.

If you need further assistance with your matter you have the option of inquiring about moving to a full service retainer. (Applies to Toronto GTA clients)


Note: A minimum of 30 minutes is required. We are unable to offer shorter legal coaching sessions. Any unused session time will not be credited for future uses.

1hr – $299 +hst
30 min – $149 +hst

Please email and write Legal Coaching in the Subject.