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July 08, 2019 #LRIS2Know

Comments from the Chair

By Stephen A. Steinberg

Planning is well underway for the 2019 National Lawyer Referral Workshop on October 23 - 26 in Austin, Texas, and we look forward to seeing both newcomers and old friends.  Make time to hear from experts in marketing, panel management, limited scope services, the 2019 LRIS census results, and various other topics that you won't want to miss.

Speaking of the census, for the past two years, we have been pleased to present the initial results of our first ever comprehensive data study on the collective impact of lawyer referral services nationwide. As suspected, but never before proven with hard data, lawyer referral programs have a dramatic impact on the delivery of legal services, access to justice, including vetted attorneys, alternative legal and community resources, as well as attorney members' business development efforts and retained casework.

Below are some of the findings of the 2017 Lawyer Referral and Information Service Annual Census, which collected information about the operations and characteristics of over half of the LRIS programs nationwide. The findings contain data on services, referrals, panelists, fees, marketing, revenue and costs. The hope is that the Annual Census will supply program directors, administrators and bar association leaders with important information to better highlight the enormous impact LRIS programs are having, and provide useful data by which to benchmark your LRIS against comparable programs.

Here are some highlights from the prior Census with over 55% of programs nationwide reporting on their stats from 2016:

  • 1,522,796 people contacted lawyer referral services, via phone, email, or online intake
  • 522,150 were referred to community based organizations, governmental or social services, and pro bono legal services programs
  • 561,825 were referred to a lawyer
  • Of those referrals, 119,179 people retained LRIS lawyers to provide legal services

Collectively LRIS lawyers are one of the largest law firms worldwide:

  • 18,210 lawyers participate

Top 5 Subject Matter Areas Include:

  • Family
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Employment
  • Personal Injury
  • Estate Planning, Probate, Elder Law

At the 2019 National Lawyer Referral Workshop, we will provide data and analysis from the ongoing Census, and hope to show that the stats from 2018 are even better than above, and to have the ability to compare and contrast them to show updated trends.  To that effect, we ask that as many of you as possible participate in this year's census.  Remember that individual answers will be kept confidential, and overall results will be available to all those that participate.  For your convenience, a link to the 2019 Census can be found here.

Lastly, don't forget about the Cindy A. Raisch Award!  Since 1996, the Committee has been making this award on a meritorious basis to those public-service oriented lawyer referral programs that innovate and excel in the provision of lawyer referral and information services to those of moderate incomes.  If you know of such a program, do not hesitate to nominate them today.  Don't delay!  Nominations close July 31, 2019 and the link to nominate can be found here.

At the end of the day, the Committee is here to serve and support the national lawyer referral community.  We’re proud to be a resource to all of you, and even prouder of the work that all of you do on a day to day basis.  Feel free to reach out, and we look forward to seeing you in Austin!