Lawyer referral and information services, also sometimes called lawyer referral services, (collectively, “LRIS Programs”), have been in operation in the United States for more than 80 years, and were first established in response to requests by middle income people for assistance in obtaining appropriate legal counsel. As such, LRIS Programs are designed to assist those who are able to pay – either at a full or a moderate rate, but whose ability to locate appropriate legal representation is frustrated by a lack of experience with the legal system, a lack of information about the type of service needed, or a fear of the potential costs of seeing a lawyer.
As a means of establishing standards for the operation of LRIS Programs to assist them in meeting the needs of consumers, the ABA adopted the Model Supreme Court Rules Governing Lawyer Referral & Information Service. While compliance with those rules is completely voluntary, LRIS Programs that submit themselves to review are authorized to use the ABA Lawyer Referral and Information Service logo.
Authorization and use of the logo indicates that the LRIS Program has been reviewed by the ABA and meets the specific public service standards established by the ABA. ABA authorized LRIS Programs:
- Agree to establish and maintain objective experience requirements for their panel attorneys, so you can be confident that they work in the areas of law for which they are referred;
- Provide a mechanism for client feedback and for resolving client complaints;
- Do not limit the number of attorneys who may join the Lawyer Referral and Information Service, provided that they meet the objective requirements for panel membership, and
- Require and verify that all panel attorneys carry legal malpractice insurance.
Please note that the ABA does not review the qualifications of the individual lawyers who participate in LRIS Programs. For more details on the ABA standards, click here
The ABA does not review the qualifications of the individual lawyers who participate in these services. For more details on the ABA standards, visit the ABA lawyer referral policy webpage.