Bar association programs to help clients and lawyers resolve disputes. The parties agree in advance to accept the decision of an independent arbitrator. These services are often free, or impose only modest charges.
An agency in each state is responsible for investigating complaints about lawyers. If the lawyer is found to have violated an ethics or court rule, he or she will be reprimanded, fined, and perhaps suspended or disbarred (license to practice law revoked). Lawyer discipline agencies cannot help you recover fees you have paid the lawyer, or make the lawyer pay you for a loss you have suffered because the lawyer made mistakes in handling your case.
State "Client Protection Funds" or "Client Security Funds" help reimburse any clients who are defrauded by dishonest lawyers. These programs do not help clients in fee disputes, or pay for losses due to lawyer malpractice. These funds exist solely to reimburse -- to the extent possible -- clients when a lawyer fails to turn over client's money won in a lawsuit, or other money held in trust for the client.