If you have a legal dispute, finding a lawyer can sometimes add to your concerns.  For those who live in Illinois and don’t know where to start, a lawyer referral service (LRS) can be of some help. 

The Illinois State Bar Association has a phone referral service whereby interested persons can contact an attorney.  Like most other lawyer referral services, the State Bar phone service works by providing you with an attorney’s phone number.  You will be responsible for contacting the lawyer for an initial consultation, which costs a fee.  After you discuss briefly with the attorney, you may then choose whether or not you will hire them for more consultation.   

If you already have some basic idea of what your legal issue involves, it may be worth your while to select a more focused attorney referral service.  There are many interest-specific legal associations in the state of Illinois.  Some of these include: the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and the Illinois branch of the National Employment Lawyers Association.  Thus, if you have a specific inquiry, you can direct your search towards the appropriate service. 

You should know that the state of Illinois currently does not maintain any programs for certifying attorneys as “specialists” in a given legal field (for example, a “family law specialist”).  Thus, if you are looking for a particular kind of “specialist” attorney in the state of Illinois, you may run into some difficulties.  You will likely have to ask each individual attorney if they have more experience in one area of law than another. 

Finally, understand that almost all lawyer referral services operate on a fee basis.  Some groups will charge you in exchange for giving you a lawyer’s contact information.  Other groups leave it up to the attorney to charge fees for initial consultation.  Also, you may not always be able to choose from a list of attorneys; you are usually given the contact information for only one attorney.  If you are unsatisfied with your options, you can always try a different service.

Again, your search for a Illinois lawyer will go a lot more smoothly if you have a basic idea of what kind of lawyer you need.  If you are unsure of which LRS is the best for you, some websites provide comparative analyses of referral service.  An example of such a website is Lawyer Referral Services, which reviews services by geographic area.