About Attorney Search Network
What is a Lawyer Referral Service?
A Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRS or LRIS) is an organization created with the purpose of referring potential clients to licensed, insured attorneys experienced in the area of law related to a clients’ particular legal issue or problem.
Why is it important to be Certified?
The State Bar of California requires any person or organization operating as a Lawyer Referral Service to meet certain standards established by them. These standards insure that if for any reason you experience a problem with the Lawyer Referral Service, the State Bar of California will directly investigate your complaint through the information you provide on your complaint form.
How does a Lawyer Referral Service operate?
First, a Legal Analyst will screen your call (take any useful information regarding the actual case) and determine whether or not your case will be best handled by an attorney. If the Legal Analyst determines that your case does not require the assistance of an attorney, he or she will provide you with the necessary information, so you can contact the appropriate agency or entity such as small claims court, the labor board or the rent control board among others.
Second, the Legal Analyst will match your case with a lawyer who is qualified to practice in the specific area of the law pertaining to your legal needs.
Third, the Legal Analyst will arrange for an initial consultation with a panel lawyer either by phone or in person.
Note: In cases of temporary or permanent disability caused by injuries or health problems, most lawyers will send an investigator to your home or hospital if required.
Furthermore, the Lawyer Referral Service will screen your call:
As mentioned before, a Certified Lawyer Referral service has at its service a team of well-trained Legal Analysts who will determine if your case needs to be handled by a lawyer, or if it can be better handled by any other organization. If you need a lawyer, the Legal Analyst will refer you to one of its panel lawyers experienced in the area of law related to you particular legal issue or problem.
Attorneys are Insured:
In order to protect you and your case, all lawyers who belong to a Lawyer Referral Service must carry malpractice insurance.
The Lawyer Referral Service may be able to refer you to a lawyer at a reduced rate:
Most governmental organizations acknowledge that many individuals do not have the means to pay a lawyer in order to obtain legal assistance. For this reason, among the several certification requirements set forth by the State Bar of California, there are certain rules that require Lawyer Referral Services to make the necessary arrangements to provide persons of limited means with the appropriate service. With the purpose of satisfying these requirements, many Lawyer Referral Services create low-fee or no-fee panels as well as free programs in cooperation with local and independent organizations. When you speak with a Legal Analyst, ask him or her if you are financially eligible to participate in any of these programs. If you are eligible, you will be referred to one of the several attorneys who charge a reduced rate, or to one of the different organizations that provide free legal assistance.
The Lawyer Referral Service can refer you to an appropriate Lawyer qualified to handle your matter:
One of the main advantages of using a Certified Lawyer Referral Service is that it has a long list of lawyers with experience in different areas of the law, so you do not have to call several lawyers until you find the right one. Lawyers who are members of a Certified Lawyer Referral Service must demonstrate that they have the requisite experience and knowledge to become Lawyer Referral Service panel attorneys.
The Lawyer Referral Service can provide you with information regarding other service programs:
Although you may think that your situation requires a lawyer’s assistance, there are several situations in which this assumption may be not true. As stated before, there are cases that can be better handled by different organizations such as small claims court, the rent control board, and the labor board. Under these circumstances, you will find it helpful to know that nearly fifty percent (50%) of the cases referred by Lawyer Referral Services within California are forwarded to these organizations during the course of a year.
Lawyer Referral Services may be able to provide you with bilingual lawyers:
If English is not your primary language, many Lawyer Referral Services are able to provide you with bilingual attorneys who can better serve your needs.
If you have any questions about the information provided above, please