When faced with the need to hire a lawyer, it can be difficult knowing where to start.  If you need an attorney in Illinois, the Illinois State Bar Association is a good first place to start.

The Illinois State Bar’s website includes an easy-to-use attorney referral service.  After inputting the county you are in and area of law you are concerned with, the service will provide you with a list of lawyer referrals.  This service is free of charge.

This attorney referral service does have its drawbacks.  The service generates a list of all lawyers practicing a particular specialty in a given county, and that list can be a bit overwhelming.  For example, the service provides over 70 referrals for Elder Law attorneys in Cook County.  There does not appear to be way to narrow the list of referrals to something more manageable. 

Additionally, Illinois’ lawyer referral service does not provide any information on which lawyers are available or actually interested in taking you on as a client.  It also does not indicate the cost of your initial consultation.

The Illinois State Bar Association can be a good starting point when looking for a lawyer referral.  However, you will need some patience to work through the list of referrals, and the service does not personalize the referrals to match your needs.  If these issues are important to you, you should probably consider using a private attorney referral service. Follow this link to a useful website for evaluating various Lawyer Referral Services in Cook County.