Attorney referral services are essentially databases of attorney contact information. When seeking an attorney, many people may not know exactly where to start. This is where an attorney referral service would be utilized. Attorney referral service providers maintain a network of attorneys and connect those searching for an attorney with one in their network.
In order to utilize most referral services, the person seeking an attorney contacts the service provider and gives relevant search criteria, such as location and area of legal need. The referral service will then provide them with contact information for an individual attorney who practices the area of law they need for their specific legal issue.
Most attorney referral services are an automated system. Once the seeking person completes a form and provides the necessary search criteria, the automated system then directs them to an attorney in the service’s network. Automated systems provide instant contact information for an attorney that meets the selected criteria.
Providing instant information on an attorney in network is one of the biggest benefits to using an automated system. Additionally, automated systems provide accessibility for those who have trouble using a phone.
However, the contact information that these automated systems provide is often limited and simple. This means that the referred attorney may not actually be able to meet the client’s specific needs, or they may not be taking any new cases. Also, automated systems often fail to take into account a client’s financial needs.
This means that a client may be matched with an attorney they cannot afford. Further, an automated system may not be able to accurately assess what kind of legal help the client is looking for. As such, many people prefer to use call-in referral services with human operators.
Attorney referral services are generally provided by a state’s Bar Association, or other public resource provider, and are usually free for the seeking person to use. This is because the attorney’s included in the referral directory typically pay some sort of fee to be included, which covers the costs of operating the service.
Because of this, not every service is comprehensive. Some attorneys pay to be included in some services, while others are included in different services. Private referral services are available, and sometimes do charge the client for their services.
How Can I Find an Attorney in Missouri?
In Missouri, both the state and local Bar Associations offer a good first step in seeking an attorney. The Missouri Bar Association offers an attorney referral service that provides statewide attorney referrals. This service can be reached by phone or by completing an online form. There is a $25 fee to utilize the service, but any initial consultation with an attorney is free. However, the Missouri Bar Association’s services do not cover the cities of St. Louis, Kansas City, or Springfield. These cities’ Bar Associations all maintain their own attorney referral services.
The Kansas City Bar’s service offers an attorney referral, free of charge, either by phone or email. Because it is free to use, it does not waive any consultation fees as the Missouri Bar Association does. The St. Louis Bar Association also provides an attorney referral service that can be utilized by phone or email.
Their service has a delayed response time of up to two days, and bills $30 for using the service. Because of this, the client’s first consultation with an attorney is free. Springfield’s Bar Association offers a limited referral service that is free to use. When utilizing the Springfield Bar service, simply input the area of law you are needing, and the service will provide a list of all attorneys in the area who practice in that specific field of law.
Lawyer Referral Services in St. Louis County is another useful site that can help connect potential clients with attorneys, and provides links to public, private, and online referral services. Lawyer Referral Services in Jackson County provides the same information and connections, but for Jackson County, MO specifically.
How Can LegalMatch Help Me Find an Attorney in Missouri?
LegalMatch is one of the largest online attorney referral services. It is free to use, and attorneys are available for all areas of law. The purpose of LegalMatch is to simplify the attorney search process, and provide potential clients with all of the tools and knowledge they need to make an informed decision.
Additionally, LegalMatch has moved away from the concept of an attorney referral service by providing the best platform for both attorneys and potential clients to meet and connect so they can decide what is right for them.
All attorneys listed by LegalMatch are pre-screened and maintain a good standing with their state’s Bar Association. When searching attorneys on LegalMatch, you can view an attorney’s education history, legal experience, what types of cases they’ve handled, legal fees and charges, and ratings from other clients. You need only to state your legal issue once with LegalMatch.