Attorney Referral Services in Texas

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(This may not be the same place you live)

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 How Do I Find a Good Lawyer in Texas?

There are many ways to find a good lawyer in Texas. There are many referral services that a person can find online through a simple search. Another approach is to ask friends and family members if they have ever worked with a lawyer in their community on a similar issue. If the friend or family member has a referral to offer, the person can follow up with the lawyer, making an appointment to meet with them and discuss their issue.

A lawyer recommended by a friend or family member may not not handle the type of problem a person has. In that case, the person should ask the lawyer if the lawyer can refer them to another lawyer who handles the type of issue the person has.

If a person has been sued for negligence because they were involved in a car accident, the person should contact their auto insurance company. The insurance company should provide a lawyer to defend the person in the lawsuit. This is a benefit of the person’s auto insurance policy.

Or, if a person has been sued by another person who was injured on the person’s property, e.g., in an accident in their home, again, the person should contact the company that provides their homeowner’s insurance policy. Again, the insurance company should provide the person with a lawyer to defend them in the lawsuit.

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit organization that was established by Congress in 1974. Its mission is to give financial support to low-income people for civil legal matters. Of course, if a person is a defendant in a criminal case and they do not have the funds to hire their own attorney, the state must provide them with one at no cost.

However, Americans are not guaranteed free or low-cost legal representation in civil cases. The LSC currently funds independent nonprofit legal aid organizations in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories. A person can access their local legal service corporation office through the lsc.org website. They should then be able to talk to a lawyer about their legal issue and possibly get representation at an affordable price.

Should I Use an Automated Referral Service Provider?

As mentioned above, many attorney referral services in Texas have an online system through which a person can request a referral. These can be quite convenient because they allow a person to submit information regarding their particular legal issue immediately. The service then provides the person with the contact information for an attorney in its network.

However, one problem with automated systems, as opposed to systems that are operated by humans, is that the online system may not fully understand a person’s legal issue. In addition, an automated system might not take a person’s financial means into account.

Therefore, many people prefer a system that is not an automated system when they look for an attorney. They find that a system in which a human being collects information from a person and makes the referral is better able to understand the person’s legal issues and needs.

Also, a human operator can collect relevant financial information and make appropriate referrals for a person’s financial status. For example, a human operator might refer a person to a local legal aid society, which is a nonprofit organization. Legal aid societies offer legal help to people at a low cost.

The State Bar of Texas also certifies referral services operated by county bar associations in Texas counties, as well as nonprofit public service organizations. The State Bar of Texas maintains a list of the certified referral programs in Texas. A person can access the Texas Bar Association’s website and find contact information for these certified referral programs.

How Are Attorney Referral Services Organized in Texas?

Texas is unique in that it has 254 counties, far more than any other state in the U.S. Importantly, the county where a person lives probably has “jurisdiction” over their legal issues. “Jurisdiction” refers to a court’s authority to call all parties into the courthouse to resolve a legal controversy.

A person must locate an attorney in their area or the area that may have jurisdiction over their particular legal issue. Thus, attorney referral services in Texas are organized by county. So, the Dallas Bar Association referral service serves the Dallas area, while the Harris County Bar Association serves Houston and the surrounding area.

However, the number of attorneys in the county bar association referral services network may sometimes be limited. Therefore, it may be better to use a for-profit or statewide referral service to find more attorneys and, possibly, attorneys who are more experienced.

A person might know the type of lawyer they need. If so, a private legal association that works specifically in that area of the law may also be a good option for connecting with an attorney qualified to assist them.

Are There Other Ways to Find a Lawyer?

A person may have a few other options depending on their circumstances. For example, as noted above, the U.S. Constitution’s Sixth Amendment guarantees an attorney to defend a person charged with a crime if conviction of the crime could lead to imprisonment for 6 months or more.

Some state constitutions guarantee a person criminal defense for any crime with which they are charged. So, a person can tell the judge who presides at their arraignment that they want an attorney but cannot afford one. The judge should appoint a lawyer to represent the person at the government’s expense.

Again, a person’s insurance policies might also provide them with a legal defense in certain civil cases. If a person is sued for professional malpractice or in connection with business activities, their professional liability or business liability insurance may provide them with a defense lawyer. So, if a person is sued, they want to review their insurance policies and find out if any of them might provide the person with legal representation.

Is There a Fee for Using an Attorney Referral Service?

As can be seen, using a Texas lawyer referral service can help a person avoid the confusion of tracking down an attorney who is qualified to help them with their particular legal issue. It is important to understand that some attorney referral services may charge a fee to use their services. This fee is separate from any fee a person may have to pay the attorney with whom they are connected. A person can confirm this by asking.

A person could consult with an attorney to whom they are referred by a referral service and decide to hire the attorney to represent them in some matter. In that case, they want to make sure they understand how the attorney expects to be paid and in what amount. They should have a written fee agreement that spells out the terms of the attorney’s employment.

Of course, a person should remember that they do not have to hire any attorney to whom they are referred. They are free to consult with the lawyer and then continue their search until they find the attorney with whom they have the most confidence.

However, most attorney referral services typically do not charge the client seeking to connect with an attorney. They charge the attorney who is seeking referrals of potential clients. Generally, an attorney is the party who pays the fees for getting listed with an attorney referral service. Again, a person can always ask the referral service they contact about any fees it may charge.

What Should I Do Before Using an Attorney Referral Service in Texas?

Before using an attorney Referral Service in Texas, a person should use the LegalMatch referral service. LegalMatch can quickly connect you to a Texas lawyer who is experienced in the area of law needed for your issue.

You present your case in writing, and LegalMatch has a lawyer review it. If you have a case, an attorney sends you an offer to represent you. The offer includes a profile of the attorney, their fee structure, and rates. Then you can decide if the lawyer is the right one for you.

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