Finding an attorney in the state of New York can be an intimidating task. With over 100,000 capable attorneys practicing in the state, finding an attorney to suit your specific needs can feel daunting. Fortunately, New York offers multiple legal referral services, or LRS, to aid you in your search.
The Public Service of the New York State Bar Association provides a reputable LRS that may ease much of the burden associated with lawyer searches. The referral service provided by the New York State Bar Association is approved by the American Bar Association and provides referrals for hundreds of attorneys experienced in more than 40 areas of law serving over 44 counties in New York State.
Nearly every county in New York has an independent bar association, such as the Eerie County Bar Association or the Queens County Bar Association. New York City also has its own bar association. Bar associations typically offer LRS functions, sometimes for a fee. For example, the New York City LRS answers questions or reviews your online referral request. Once it is determined that you would benefit from working with an attorney, they will refer you to an attorney in their qualified network.
There are many legal associations that tailor to unique situations. For example, the state of New York maintains specialized legal organizations like the Women’s Bar Association of New York or the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. These kinds of specialty organizations can be a helpful starting point if you are dealing with a very narrow issue.
When determining what type of attorney would best serve your needs, determining your legal issue is the important first step before you begin your search. Knowing your own needs can help eliminate much of the guesswork in finding the appropriate lawyer. However, there are instances where speaking with an attorney first will help you determine whether you have a viable legal claim. In fact, the main purpose for most attorney referral services- to help determine whether your dispute is weighty enough to be heard in court.
As stated above, most lawyer referral services will help you understand if an attorney can help you. Once that is determined, the LRS will provide contact information of an attorney. You will then call the attorney for an initial consultation. This typically lasts about half an hour and will cost anywhere from $35-$50, although some attorneys provide free initial consultations. If the attorney concludes that you have a potential claim, it’s up to you to schedule them for more advice or for representation at their hourly rates.
Although lawyer referral services can be helpful in finding a New York lawyer, they also involve some amount of risk. Despite the fact that most of the attorneys recommended are pre-screened and qualified, a risk still exists as the majority of LRS organizations do not allow clients to choose their attorney or to conduct their own background research on them. Many LRS organizations assign an attorney to a potential client based on their legal issue.
You can maximize your options by working with an organization that compares several different lawyer referral services, such as LawyerReferralServices.org.
The fasted way to connect with attorneys in your area is to post your case online with LegalMatch. After you have completed the simple in-take form, attorneys in your local community will contact you directly.