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October 01, 2016 Dialogue

LRIS: From the Chair

By C. Elisia Frazier, Standing Committee on Lawyer Referral and Information Service

News, Followups, and Farewell


In my last column, I posed this question:  Are you embracing and using technology to enhance your lawyer referral program? At that time, I also mentioned a new project designed by Ken Matejka, of Matejka Marketing, called LRSconnect, which is a web-based platform that includes all non-profit lawyer referral programs nationwide. LRISconnect at now makes it easy for the public to access lawyer referral programs that embrace and adhere to the public service model of lawyer referral. LRSconnect has now launched with over 10,000 impressions at the time of this writing.

LRIS Data Survey Coming Soon

Gathering and analyzing statistical critical data points across LRIS programs was discussed at the recent 2016 ABA National Lawyer Referral Workshop, hosted by the Standing Committee on Lawyer Referral and Information Service. The general consensus was that having access to such operational data would benefit all lawyer referral programs in structuring their services to provide the maximum benefit to the public while allowing programs to run more efficiently. The Standing Committee informed the participants that we are working on designing a survey that will effectively gather the desired data. Please be on the lookout for the data survey to come your way in early 2017. We are seeking maximum participation from programs so that you will have the necessary information to run a successful program through the use of technology and information.

On a related note, please be aware that the American Bar Endowment has announced an opportunity grants program. This is a great opportunity for programs to receive valuable resources to fund projects designed to increase access to justice or legal services. 

LRS-Client Communication Privilege Passes

I am pleased to report that at its August, 2016 meeting the ABA House of Delegates approved the Standing Committee’s Report 106, which urges the establishment of an evidentiary privilege for lawyer referral services and their prospective clients for confidential communications when such a client contacts a lawyer referral service for the purpose of retaining a lawyer or obtaining legal advice from a lawyer. The LRIS Standing Committee is now working on an implementation plan to encourage other states to join California (the first legislature to enact the privilege) in providing this important protection for clients of lawyer referral programs.

ABA LRIS Logo Approval Program

It’s back!! For the programs that have been waiting to apply for the use of the ABA LRIS logo, your wait is over. The ABA LRIS Logo Approval program is accepting applications. For programs already participating in the logo program, please note that there is a new application that must be used when submitting your annual renewal. Please visit the ABA LRIS website for more information.

Farewell, Jane Nosbisch

As many of you now know, Jane Nosbisch, staff counsel for the LRIS Standing Committee, announced her retirement from the American Bar Association, effective October 28, 2016. Jane’s retirement is a great loss for the lawyer referral community. We could not have asked for a greater champion. She’s our fountain of knowledge of all things LRIS. I am continually amazed at her dedication, knowledge and commitment to lawyer referral issues. She’s our guiding light and will be dearly missed. As Chair, I routinely rely upon Jane’s guidance, wisdom and expertise. She made me a believer. Thanks, Jane, for all you have contributed to the lawyer referral community. We wish you well.­