Choosing a Lawyer
Although we can't recommend any particular lawyer, pursuant to the Legal Profession Act, a list of Attorneys who hold practising certificates is regularly published in the Gazette. This Roll was last published here and lists practising attorneys as of 13 February 2023. Attorneys are sometimes omitted inadvertently, so if you are looking for an attorney who is not listed, you can also make enquiries with the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago or the Registrar of the Supreme Court.
Contact information for your lawyer of choice may be available online, through the Law Association or through the telephone directory.
Remember, although all attorneys are qualified to practise in T&T generally (for example, there's no specific qualification or admission to practise civil litigation as opposed to criminal litigation), not every attorney may be sufficiently experienced to handle your specific matter (not every civil lawyer may be able to conduct a murder trial). Lawyers don't really formally specialise in any specific area through postgraduate study but they may be very experienced by their choice to practise exclusively in that area.
How do you ensure that the lawyer that you've chosen is right for you? Ask them questions. Be involved in the process. If they're privately retained, it is entirely your choice of which lawyer you hire. It is your matter, not theirs.
Exercise your freedom of choice as you would in any other area of your life.
If you can't afford a lawyer, the Legal Aid and Advisory Authority may also be able to assist. The Authority can appoint lawyers to represent you in both civil and criminal matters or, for criminal matters, the Authority may appoint a public defender to represent you through its Public Defenders’ Office. More information, including the Authority’s contact information, is available at https://laaa.org.tt.
Another option that may be available to you is the Hugh Wooding Law School's Legal Aid Clinic. If you are challenged financially and the Legal Aid and Advisory Authority is unable to assist you, try contacting Hugh Wooding Law School. More information is available on Hugh Wooding Law School's website or you can contact the Legal Aid Clinic by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 868-235-4960.
Many other lawyers may choose to offer pro bono services (without charge) or may be aware of other pro bono services which you may be able to access.
More information about your rights when hiring a lawyer is available from the Law Association's website and you can read more about your options, if you've a complaint, here.
If you do choose to represent yourself, although it may not be recommended (other than the need to know the law (both Acts and case law) on which your matter is based, litigation is conducted based on precise rules which have sanctions (including the dismissal of your matter) if they aren't followed), you will likely be using the Judiciary's E-Services since filing can be done electronically and Court hearings are often virtual. If you're representing yourself (also called a "litigant in person" or a "lay litigant") then you can read some more about e-filing here and about virtual court hearings here.
Last updated: 20 April 2023