In the past, when people wanted to find a lawyer, many people generally relied on tactics, such as trusting word of mouth recommendations, flipping through their phone book (i.e., the Yellow Pages), or by reading newspaper articles that mentioned firm names.
Although these options are still available to the public in present day, they are not always the most reliable or efficient way to find an attorney.
Today, other methods that people currently use to find a lawyer are by conducting basic online searches or sorting through numerous review websites. Again, these sources may not be reliable. They also could be costly and are very time-consuming.
The one method that remains the same for both traditional and current ways to find an attorney is by using an attorney referral service.
What is an Attorney Referral Service?
An attorney referral service is a resource that assists people in finding a lawyer who practices in the appropriate legal field for their matter.
Attorney referral services are typically run by the Bar Association of a particular state and depending on the size of the state, could be further broken down by the state’s affiliated city or county’s bar association.
For example, if you are searching for an attorney in Oklahoma, then you could use the limited directory offered by the Oklahoma Bar Association. Their limited services are not considered attorney referral services.
On the other hand, if you need an attorney referral service in Oklahoma and are located in the proper jurisdictions, then you could visit the website for the Tulsa County Bar Association, which does provide an attorney referral service.
Services provided by state and local bar associations typically cost anywhere between $20 to $25 per attorney referral.
How Does an Attorney Referral Service Work?
Essentially, the way an attorney referral service works is by first finding such a service and then having to contact them. Once connected, the person will have to explain the reason as to why they are calling (i.e., their legal dilemma) to an attorney referral service representative.
Based on the facts that the person gave them, the representative will search the attorneys listed in their database and provide the caller with the name and contact information of one of their member attorneys.
But how do you know if the attorney that the representative referred is the right one for your particular matter, and not simply just the next attorney in line to take a case? Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing such a thing.
Therefore, if you are looking to have a selection of lawyers to choose from or would like to have some background information about the attorney you were referred to (such as the number of cases they have won), then an attorney referral service is not the most adequate method to use to go about finding the right attorney.
This issue is similar to the problems that existed when a person attempted to use the Yellow Pages to find a lawyer. A simple phone number or a small ad could not provide a person with enough information to evaluate the services of a particular attorney.
Instead, using the Yellow Pages was largely a hit-or-miss type of approach (much like attorney referral services) and was often very time-consuming.
What is LegalMatch?
Fortunately, LegalMatch realized that there could be a much better way for the general public to make informed decisions about how to find and select the best attorney for their case.
When LegalMatch was first launched in 2000, its aim was to simplify and revolutionize the traditional way of finding the right lawyer. LegalMatch knew that it was time to move away from a lawyer referral service and put the power of connection directly into the hands of attorneys and their potential clients. From there, a new search method was created.
LegalMatch is a proprietary business software that connects its users with local attorneys. Basically, how it works is that a user registers for free and explains their case in a submission form. The details then get sent to local attorneys who practice in the legal fields that are relevant to the user’s matter.
The attorneys who receive alerts will then review the materials and decide whether or not they are interested in taking the case, and if so, if they are available to take on the matter. Once these two things are determined, the attorney will reach out directly to the client to set-up a meeting to discuss the case.
The user is then free to decide whether to use the recommended attorney or not. They are not obligated to hire that attorney and will not be charged a fee for finding another one.
What are Some Benefits to Using LegalMatch Verses an Attorney Referral Service?
Several of the benefits that LegalMatch offers over traditional lawyer referral services include:
- The fact that all attorneys are pre-screened. Each attorney registered with LegalMatch is required to have a valid bar license, excellent references, no serious disciplinary problems, and needs to be in good standing with their particular state bar association. In contrast, any lawyer can purchase an ad in the Yellow Pages.
- LegalMatch allows you to view detailed information about all prospective attorney matches. When using LegalMatch, you can learn the attorney’s educational history (including undergraduate and law school education), legal experience, what types of cases they handle, legal fees and charges, and ratings from other clients that they have previously represented.
- With lawyer referral services, you only get the name and phone number of the attorney; any other information will have to come from your own independent searches.
- With LegalMatch, you only need to state your legal issue one time. In contrast, other approaches could be wasting your valuable time by forcing you to repeat your case over and over again to different attorneys. LegalMatch makes it so you explain your case once during the submissions process, and then you have control over which attorney you choose to hire.
- LegalMatch permits you to post your case while remaining completely confidential throughout the process. You can post anonymously from the comfort of your home, or from the office where you work. Potential attorney matches will see the facts of your case, but not your name.
- LegalMatch backs all attorney matches with a $1,000-$5,000 Satisfaction Guarantee. Attorney referral services offer no such guarantees.
- In addition, LegalMatch abandons the concept of an attorney referral service and instead concentrates on being the ultimate platform for attorneys and potential clients to meet and make connections.
Finally, over 98% of LegalMatch users say they would use our services again and would recommend it to their friends. The choice is clear: LegalMatch offers a way to find a lawyer that is superior in comparison to the likes of Yellow Pages or bar referral services.