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Directory of Lawyer Referral Services

Lawyer Legion created this directory of non-profit Lawyer Referral Services managed by bar associations across the United States. Finding an attorney through a non-profit Lawyer Referral Service is an important alternative to searching the internet or using an online attorney directory.

Many state, county, and city bar associations sponsor and manage Lawyer Referral Services. Some of these programs have been making referrals to qualified attorneys for more than 40 years. Unlike the commercial online attorney directories, non-profit lawyer referral services do not rate attorneys based on who is willing to pay more for advertising.

Instead, Lawyer Referral Services make referrals on a rotating basis after grouping qualified attorneys by geographical location, practice area, and other factors. The state bar may impose additional rules on the services and requirements for attorneys participating in Lawyer Referral Services in that state.

The American Bar Association (ABA) recognizes Lawyer Referral Services throughout the United States that meet certain standards. The American Bar Association also maintains a national directory of lawyer referral services in each state. 

At Lawyer Legion, we work hard to keep this list of lawyer referral services updated. Please send comments or corrections to support@lawyerlegions.com.

Find Lawyer Referral Services in Your State

Use the map below to find a list of non-profit lawyer referral services in your state with links to more information about each service at the state, county, or local level. Most of the lawyer referral services listed below are sponsored by state or local bar associations.

District of Columbia (Washington D.C.)
New Hampshire
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

Advantages of Using a Lawyer Referral Service

Lawyer Referral Services have some advantages over searching online or using a commercial attorney directory, including:

  1. Lawyer Referral Service often have staff trained staff to answer your questions about finding a qualified attorney for your case;
  2. The trained staff often speaks Spanish or another foreign language;
  3. The attorneys meet eligibility standards to demonstrate their experience in a particular practice area;
  4. The attorneys must maintain a local bona fide office in that location;
  5. The attorneys must carry malpractice insurance;
  6. The attorneys must be in good standing with the State Bar and otherwise eligible to practice law in the local jurisdiction;
  7. Many lawyer referral services are certified by the state bar or approved by the American Bar Association (ABA); and
  8. Additional oversight is provided through a client satisfaction survey and other methods for receiving feedback.

Lawyer Referral Services set requirements for participation beyond admission to practice because consumers contact bar association-sponsored lawyer referral and information services with the expectation of a referral to a competent attorney. A bar association referral involves an implied assurance of quality.

ABA Standards for Lawyer Referral Services

The American Bar Association (ABA) has set standards for Lawyer Referral Services. These standards were developed to help clients receive qualified representation and to provide consumer protection. 

In 1989, the ABA adopted the Model Supreme Court Rules Governing Lawyer Referral and Information Service. Those rules apply to the management of lawyer referral programs. 

The American Bar Association also maintains a Standing Committee on Lawyer Referral and Information Service. As a public service, the association takes steps to ensure a certain measure of quality along with that referral. Experience panels raise the bar a little higher when needed for more complex areas of the law.

The ABA Model Rules, approved by the ABA House of Delegates in August of 1993, provide that a quality lawyer referral service should have subject matter and experience panels. To qualify as a service that meets ABA standards, a lawyer referral service must have several subject matter panels.

Additional Resources

Lawyer Referral Service Rules - Learn more about the ABA and state bar rules for a non-profit lawyer referral service managed by a local bar association.

How to Join a Lawyer Referral Service - Visit the website of the Florida Bar to learn more about how to join a lawyer referral service. The first step is submitting an extensive application to the service. The attorney must be a member in good standing of The Florida Bar with no pending probable cause complaints. The attorney must have professional liability insurance with limits of not less than $100,000 before joining the service.

ABA's Standing Committee on Lawyer Referral Services - Not only does the ABA maintain its own directory of lawyer referral services and publish the model rules for the operation of a lawyer referral service, it also has a committee devoted to helping local lawyer referral programs. The committee provides resources for local bar leaders and associations that manage lawyer referral programs. The Standing Committee on Lawyer Referral Services gives out the Cindy Raisch Award to recognize programs that provide access for moderate-income consumers across the country.

Finding a Lawyer Referral Service in Your Area

At Lawyer Legion, we understand the important role that lawyer referral services play in helping the public find a qualified attorney. Most states have at least one lawyer referral service. In some statutes, you can find lawyer referral services at both the state and local levels.

These non-profit and community-based public services provide an alternative to searching on the internet or using an online directory to find a qualified attorney.

If you are an attorney, consider the benefits of joining a lawyer referral service. If your area doesn't have a lawyer referral service, work with your local bar association to start one in your area. The resources listed here have information on how to start a lawyer referral service in your area.

This article was last updated on Friday, February 19, 2021.