Searching for the right attorney can often be a challenging and stressful experience. As a result, many people turn to attorney referral services to help them find a good lawyer.
An attorney referral service is defined as a network of lawyers that provides the contact information for and directs people to the right lawyers that may be appropriate to hire for their particular legal issue.
Most referral services usually come from the state and local bar associations of each state. They may also exist under non-profit organizations or legal aid services, and sometimes, as a service where a membership fee is required to obtain a list of lawyers or the information of a particular lawyer.
The reason that most attorney referral services stem from the state and local bar associations of each state is due to certain rules of ethics that lawyers must follow in order to practice. Being listed by state bar associations helps to ensure that the lawyers listed have met the proper credential requirements for referral services, as well as have the necessary legal experience to handle a case.
Some states offer more lawyer referral services than others. The reason for this may be because some states have a greater general public population or have more in-state jobs for attorneys.
For example, New York State has many legal referral services due to the size of the state, its large general population, and the fact that New York City has an immense amount of lawyers due to job placement demands.
Others, like Washington State, do not provide as many options when it comes to their state’s attorney referral services. Currently, only 38 counties offer lawyer referral programs that stem directly from its county bar associations. In Washington, the more populous the area, the more likely it is that the county has a lawyer referral program for potential clients.
The same can be said about their nonprofit organizations that offer lawyer referral programs. There do not seem to be many of those either. Therefore, in states that are in a similar position as Washington where there are not as many attorney referral services, it is better to try and find a private attorney referral service.
A private attorney referral service can be found online by doing a quick search. Also, private attorney referral services are usually free to use and will often provide multiple referrals to one person.
Additionally, a private attorney referral service can help a person to select the right lawyer by providing detailed information about the attorneys listed. This may include their work education and history, as well as the type of law that they specialize in and where they are located. Typically, you want to choose an attorney that is closer to where you live or where your legal action is pending.
Aside from the options previously mentioned, there are also services that offer reduced-fee legal help (as opposed to non-profit), additional free legal resources if there is a chance that you can prep your case without an attorney, and you can try tapping into your own personal network.
If you know an attorney or have friends that know attorneys, try asking them for help. They may not be the right attorney for your case and they might not practice the right legal specialty, but they may be able to direct you to people in their own legal network that they will be able to connect you with and who can possibly help you.
Additionally, if you have ever worked with a lawyer before, you should try contacting them or their firm. Even if they may not be able to take your case this time around, they still might be able to direct you to the right lawyer or law firm, which can be very useful.
Finally, if you live in Seattle or the greater Kings County area, a full review of available lawyer referral services can be found here: Lawyer Referral Services in Kings County, WA.
Last, but not least, LegalMatch is a great service that can match you with an attorney who may be able to help with your particular matter. LegalMatch is not an attorney referral service. Instead it’s a proprietary business software.
Unlike a lawyer referral service, a case submitted on LegalMatch is immediately sent to local attorneys and from there on the right attorney can reach out to you and let you know if they are able to take on your case.
There are no fees or obligations for finding and contacting an attorney. Best of all, the lawyers on LegalMatch are pre-screened, their profiles can be read prior to contacting them, and you can personally review the ratings for each lawyer that is listed.