August 25, 2017 Dialogue

Getting the LRIS Client Prepared for Legal Workshops and Consultations

By Barbara Arsedo

Not only can LRIS serve as a trusted source for the pubic to find lawyers, it can also be a valued guide as to how to prepare to talk to a lawyer at a consultation or workshop setting. So many who call the LRIS are challenged by first time legal troubles and are unsure what it means to consult with a lawyer. At the Contra Costa County Bar Association's LRIS, just east of San Francisco, our "Get Prepared" webpage provides that guidance.

Given that initial consultations or workshop opportunities for legal advice are limited windows of time with an attorney, the "Get Prepared" webpage helps focus LRIS clients to get the most legal help in a short amount of time. Basics like 'being honest' and 'listening closely to the lawyer' are catalogued in a series of helpful tips listed at our website http://www.cccba.org/community/find-a-lawyer/get-prepared.php.

LRIS panel attorneys, in particular, also appreciate a client's focus when they come to the initial consultation prepared. In this way. The webpage helps both LRIS clients and attorneys maximize their time together. As a regular course of business, our LRIS staff directs clients to this webpage when a scheduled appointment to consult has been set.

In addition, members of the community also have access to our calendar of events which enables them to register for various programs. These include our Bankruptcy Workshops, and a variety of free legal workshops offered by the Contra Costa County Bar Association and other legal service providers. The "Get Prepared" webpage allows clients engaging in these services to feel prepared for either handling a matter on their own or eventually, hiring a lawyer.

The Contra Costa County Bar Association's website and "Get Prepared" webpage have been in existence for about twenty years. The website was and still is a way to keep up with the times and the growth of the internet. Ten years ago, we redesigned the website to make it more user friendly, especially the actual LRIS portion. This was a yearlong process, but a necessary one. This redesign enabled clients to contact us through an online process and to submit a request for referral. As such, the Community portion of the website continues to be very well received by the public with answers to as many questions as possible and continually updated webpage information.

Whether the LRIS client accesses a referral to a lawyer or attends one of our workshops, our "Get Prepared" webpage is helping them get off to the right start. It also furthers our public service mission to support the public with valuable guidance when legal help is needed.

Barbara Arsedo

Lawyer Referral Service and Moderate Means Program Coordinator, Contra Costa County Bar Association

Barbara Arsedo is the Lawyer Referral Service and Moderate Means Program Coordinator at the Contra Costa County Bar Association, east of San Francisco. She can be reached at (925) 686-6900 x2 or barsedo@cccba.org.