Finding an Attorney Referral in Michigan

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 What are Attorney Referral Services?

In the past, when you needed a lawyer, you generally relied on word-of-mouth recommendations by 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 today, they are not always the most reliable or efficient way to find an attorney. Today, other methods people currently use to find a lawyer are conducting basic online searches or sorting through numerous review websites.

The one method that remains the same for both traditional and current ways to find an attorney is by using an attorney referral service. Attorney referral services are essentially organizations that have directories of attorneys. Attorney referral service providers maintain a network of attorneys to connect people needing attorneys with a lawyer in the provider’s network. Attorney referral services are not intended to provide guidance and legal advice but rather a connection to qualified professionals who may be suited to take on the case.

The service maintains a record of attorney information to assist those seeking a referral to an attorney practicing in the legal area related to the client’s needs. Sometimes you don’t know what kind of attorney you need, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Attorney referral services are useful, as they can help simplify the process and provide a better launching point.

Once you determine that you need an attorney, you can seek out and contact an attorney referral service. The service will then collect some information and use that information to direct you toward an attorney in the service’s database who practices in the law required for your legal issues.

Who Provides Attorney Referral Services?

Nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups provide referrals for lawyers. To find an attorney through one of them, you need to fall into the specifics of their cause. An example would be a nonprofit set up to help women escape abusive partners. The organization could point you toward lawyers who practice in that area.

Most attorney referral services are provided by state or local bar associations. This is an important public service. However, these public services are typically less complete than private services are.

There are also private for-profit corporations that do offer attorney referral services. You can find them through an internet search. Most referral services are free for potential clients to utilize. Instead, the attorneys listed in the database usually pay some fee to be included in the service’s directory (this is not true for bar associations or nonprofit services).

Based on the facts you gave them, the representative of the search company will search the attorneys listed in their database and provide you with the name and contact information of one of their member attorneys.

But how do you know if the attorney the representative referred is right for your particular matter and not just the next attorney in line to take a case? Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing such a thing. This is one of the disadvantages of attorney referral services. 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 an adequate method to use to go about finding the right attorney.

What are Some Pros and Cons of Utilizing an Automated Referral System?

The majority of attorney referral services are automated systems. One of the biggest benefits of automated systems is that the client is instantly provided with contact information for an attorney that may meet their needs from the selected criteria. Automated referral systems provide greater accessibility for those who cannot use a telephone or are uncomfortable doing so. It is also easy to quickly compile information for several potential attorneys at once and generally takes less time.

However, as previously mentioned, because the attorneys have to sign up and pay for inclusion on each service’s database, no service maintains the contact information of every attorney that could suit your needs. You’ll get only a necessarily limited list of legal counsel providers.

Additionally, an automated system may not be capable of fully understanding or meeting your specific legal needs. Without a human to interpret how you describe your legal situation, an automated system might not give you relevant recommendations.

Another disadvantage is that an automated system will not consider financial needs when providing suggestions.

For these reasons, many people seeking an attorney prefer to work with a referral service that is not automated. An example of this would be an attorney referral telephone number operated by humans, who could be more likely able to comprehend your specific legal and financial needs. A human operator can also likely provide more accurate information better suited to your needs.

How Can I Find an Attorney in Michigan?

The Michigan State Bar can be a good first step to finding an attorney. The State Bar of Michigan maintains an attorney referral service, which is free to use. Further, the consultation fee for an initial meeting with an attorney located through the service is capped at $20.

If you prefer a more local service, the American Bar Association’s (ABA) website contains the contact information for roughly ten Michigan County Bar Associations. The ABA maintains its own attorney referral services that are generally free.

Note that both of these services may prove to be limited. Both the services provided by the State Bar of Michigan and most County Bar services do not offer online services. These associations can only be reached by telephone and will only provide one attorney referral at a time.

If you need a lawyer, you must contact the recommended attorney and then contact the referral service for another lead should that initial contact be unfit for your needs. Also, these services do not provide much information outside of the name and phone number of the attorney they are referring to the client.

If you need an attorney in Michigan and seek a more comprehensive referral service, you may want to consider a private referral service. As previously mentioned, these services have a complete database with additional information, such as the attorney’s education and work history.

These services maintain an online presence and are fairly simple, providing several attorney referrals simultaneously. The greater Grand Rapids area may find the Lawyer Referral Services in Kent County, MI, helpful, while the greater Detroit area can contact the Lawyer Referral Services in Wayne County, MI.

Additionally, LegalMatch is another great tool that can assist you in locating a well-qualified and knowledgeable Michigan attorney in your area. LegalMatch is not a referral service, but through our matching system, we can direct those with legal needs to local, available attorneys who can meet them.

All you need to do is submit information about your case and your preferences in an attorney (like level of experience). The attorneys who meet your needs, are available and want to work with you will contact you.

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