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Lawyer Referral Service in San Francisco

The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) manages a Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS). This service has been providing referrals to the public since 1946.

The lawyer referral service helps the public find an attorney in the greater San Francisco area in a variety of different practice areas including criminal defense, personal injury, worker's compensation, immigration and family law.

Across the greater San Francisco area, hundreds of attorneys participate in the program. Nearly all practice areas of the law are represented. The service recently expanded into Marin County, CA.

To be certified by the California State Bar, lawyer referral services in California must conform to certain standards adopted by the California Supreme Court. The LRIS of the BASF is also recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) for meeting its standards for these public services.

Contact Information

San Francisco Bar Association's Lawyer Referral and Information Service
301 Battery Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415-989-1616 (Call Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.)
(TDD) 415-782-8985
FAX: 415-477-2389

LRS to Find an Attorney in San Francisco

The program provides referrals to attorneys in San Francisco County or Marin County, CA. The service is available from Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The public can also submit details about their case online through the website using a secure online form.

The staff is multilingual and speaks both English and Spanish. The dedicated staff can help the public find an attorney in San Francisco who is multilingual when needed.

The referral service charges a $35 administrative fee for an initial half-hour consultation with an attorney in the LRIS program at no additional charge. For individuals contacting an attorney because of a personal injury case, the fee is waived. During the initial consultation, the fee and the terms of payment are discussed and then set out in a written agreement.

Attorneys on the panel must certify that certify that their principal place of practice is in San Francisco and that at least two-thirds of their practice is in San Francisco. The attorneys must meet other eligibility requirements.

Types of Legal Services Provided by LRIS Attorneys

The referral service maintains a list of panel members. A non-attorney staff person conducts the initial interview and then typically refers the client to an attorney on the list "whose last referral from the panel was the farthest in time from the date of referral." The attorneys are screened for their experience in one of many different practice areas including:

  • Criminal Defense;
  • Family Law;
  • Personal Injury;
  • Medical Malpractice;
  • Worker’s Compensation;
  • Legal Malpractice;
  • Bankruptcy Law;
  • Business Law;
  • Employment Law;
  • Disability Rights Law;
  • Elder Abuse/Benefit Claims;
  • Military Law and Veterans Benefits;
  • Immigration Law;
  • Intellectual Property Rights;
  • Landlord/Tenant;
  • Maritime/Admiralty Law;
  • Trusts and Estate Planning;
  • Probate and Wills;
  • Tax Law; and
  • Real Estate Law.

Videos for BASF Lawyer Referral and Information Service

Watch a video discussing the advantages of using the San Francisco Bar Association Lawyer Referral and Information Service in order to find an attorney. In this video, Carole Conn, the Directory of Public Service Programs for the Bar Association of San Francisco explains what happens when a person calls the Lawyer Referral and Information Service.

Another video, published on October 17, 2012, discusses the fact that the service has more than 100 areas of law. The San Francisco LRIS was recognized by KRON 4's Best of the Bay as the "2011 Best of Nominee" for non-profit services in the Bay Area.


Other Bay Area Lawyer Referral Services

Other lawyer referral services in the Bay Area include: 

1000 Broadway, Suite 480 Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 302-2222 ext. 4 | www.acbanet.org

2300 Clayton Road, Suite 520 Concord, CA 94520
(925) 825-5700 | www.cccba.org

405 Sherman Ave. Palo Alto, CA 94306
(650) 326-8322 | www.paaba.org

4 North Second Street, Suite 400 San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 971-6822 | www.sccba.com

Lawyer Referral Services in San Francisco, California

At Lawyer Legion, we understand the important role that county and city level bar associations play in helping the public find an attorney in San Francisco, CA, and the surrounding areas. Lawyer Referral Services provide an alternative to finding an attorney from an internet search or using an online attorney directory.

LRS have a big impact. According to its website, last year attorneys in San Francisco generated more than $13,500,000 in fees from the referrals. Other popular lawyer referral services in California include the LRS in Alameda County and Sacramento.

Whether you are searching for a personal injury, family law, or criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco, CA, or another type of attorney throughout the Bay Area, consider the benefits of using the lawyer referral service. This community-based public service has stood the test of time as a good way to find a referral to a qualified and local SF attorney in your area. 


This article was last updated on Friday, December 27, 2019.