Lawyer referral services exist to help those who are seeking an attorney, but may not know where to start. These services maintain a database of qualified attorneys looking to take on new clients, and provide those attorneys as recommendations to potential clients utilizing the service.
Many services have the client provide some basic information regarding themselves and their legal issue, and provide that information to any matching attorneys so they may contact the potential client.
Bar Association lawyer referral services are maintained by each state’s Bar Association. While these services could potentially provide the best referrals in terms of attorney qualifications, there are several other options. These options include private referral services, as well as LegalMatch. The options available to seeking clients can vary from state to state.
In Arizona specifically, there are a number of resources available to make finding and hiring an attorney much easier. The Arizona Bar Association is one such resource available for people residing in the state of Arizona. The State Bar of Arizona offers an online attorney referral service which can be used to find experienced attorneys in the area, specializing in the specific field of law needed for a particular legal issue.
Can I Hire an Attorney for a Family Member?
Whether it is possible to hire an attorney on behalf of a loved one can also vary from state to state. In Arizona specifically, you can assist in hiring an attorney for a family member. Having a friend or family member provide assistance with attorney fee payments is an especially common occurrence in the areas of criminal, juvenile, and family law. Generally speaking, clients seek out the help of family members because they have an immediate need for legal representation, but do not have the means or ability to pay for an attorney’s services.
When a family member does not qualify for legal aid representation or for a public defender, the financial assistance of a friend or relative may prove to be the only alternative to “pro-se” or self-representation. However, hiring an attorney on behalf of a family member requires an understanding of attorney client privilege, as well as what happens in cases involving the family member who disagrees during the case. Speaking with a local attorney regarding these matters can provide clarity and an informed plan to move forward.
What Do I Need to Know About Finding a Lawyer in Arizona?
There are several different ways in which the Arizona State Bar Association allows people to search for an attorney that will meet their needs. Some examples of this include:
- Submitting Their Legal Needs: The State Bar of Arizona’s website allows you to search for an attorney in just “three free, easy steps.” The steps are as follows:
- Submit your legal needs by posting anonymously through the State Bar website;
- You will be contacted via email from State licensed attorneys who have experience in handling your legal issue, and are interested in contacting you; and,
- You review the emails that the attorneys send you, meet with an attorney of your choosing, and hire the attorney if you feel they are a good fit for your case.
- Searching by Practice Area: Alternatively, if you do not wish to post your legal issue online, you could search for an attorney through the State Bar of Arizona’s website by searching for the practice area that you need. This option is particularly helpful if you are already aware of what branch of law your legal issues fall under. However, this may not be a helpful solution to those who are not sure what area of law would best cover their specific needs. Practice areas include: Family law, Business law, Contract law, Criminal law, Insurance law, Labor & Employment law, Real Estate law, Tax law, or Personal Injury; or
Searching by City: You may find it more helpful to search for an attorney by selecting which city in Arizona you reside in. The State Bar of Arizona will provide you with the contact information for attorneys in your city. You would then reach out to each individual attorney you feel would be a good fit, and hire them if they can meet your particular legal needs.
All of the lawyer referrals provided by the Arizona Bar include basic information and contact information about the attorneys. Such information includes:
- Their education details, such as which law school they graduated from;
- The date in which they were admitted to the Bar; and
- Any disciplinary action taken against the lawyer.
Additionally, many of the provided referrals have an extended profile. An extended profile generally includes a short biography, work history, and photos of the lawyer.
There are two county bar associations that offer their own lawyer referral services. Both Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, and Pima County, which includes Tucson, maintain their own attorney referral services. These services are generally reached by phone.
Similar to the State Bar website, the services provided by the county associations are free to use. The fee for your first visit with your lawyer is reduced to $35. For more information on these county specific referral services, you should follow these links for online information about finding a lawyer in Maricopa County or the greater Phoenix area: Lawyer Referral Services in Maricopa County and Lawyer Referral Services in Pima County.
What Is the Rule on Attorney Referral Fees in Arizona? Are There Different Types of Attorney’s Fees?
Some services take a referral fee for their work. These fees are charged for sending potential clients to another attorney. Generally speaking, such fees are prohibited by the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct due to the fact that come with multiple ethical concerns. However, there are some fee-splitting structures that may be conducted ethically and are therefore allowed under Arizona’s rules.
The Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here. To simplify, the state of Arizona only allows for dividing a fee amongst lawyers who are not involved in the same firm.
Depending on each specific legal issue, as well as the field of law involved, an attorney may choose to offer you a contingent fee arrangement, a flat fee arrangement, or an hourly fee arrangement.
Simply put, a contingency fee is a form of billing in which the attorneys agree to pay for the costs of a case in exchange for a fixed percentage of the total recovery of the case. This fixed percentage is usually one-third. Such a fee structure can be beneficial because as a client, you are charged no upfront costs and do not pay anything unless the case is successful.
A flat fee arrangement is where you pay a flat rate for an attorney, generally up front, instead of paying for the attorneys time hourly or agreeing for an attorney to take their fee out of your total recovery. Generally speaking, flat fees are offered for document preparation cases such as document review or creating a will or trust. This is due to the fact that such issues do not usually require complex legal strategies.
An hourly fee arrangement is the most commonly utilized attorney fee arrangement. Generally, the client pays an upfront retainer for the attorney’s services, and the attorney bills against that retainer. Alternatively, an attorney may choose to bill for their hours as they accumulate. Hourly fees may differ for attorneys based on their experience in the field, the law firm they are associated with, or their reputation in the community.
How Can I Hire an Arizona Attorney?
There are several options in Arizona that assist people in finding and hiring an attorney. Finding and hiring an attorney in Arizona does not have to be a difficult matter, and LegalMatch can help simplify the process for you.
Similar to the State Bar of Arizona Attorney Referral Service, LegalMatch is a free service that provides clients with a list of pre-screened local lawyers who specialize in the appropriate area of law. With LegalMatch, you can present your case to a local licensed and experienced Arizona lawyer, and the attorney will evaluate your case and may respond with an offer of service. LegalMatch is free and easy to use, and guarantees their referrals.