Home> Lawyer Referral Directory >Vermont

Vermont Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service

The Lawyer Referral Service in Vermont is sponsored by the Vermont Bar Association from its offices in Montpelier, VT. The service helps individuals throughout the state find a local and qualified attorney.

The Vermont Bar Association operates the only Lawyer Referral Service in the state. This service operates as a community-based, non-profit, public service.

These types of lawyer referral services are helpful to the public because they provide an important alternative to conducting an internet search, using a commercial attorney directory, or relying on phonebooks or television advertisements.

Contact Information:

Vermont Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
PO Box 100
Montpelier, VT 05601-0100
Serving All Counties Statewide
Website: www.vtbar.org/LRS/
Phone: 800-639-7036

How the Lawyer Referral Service Works

To use the Lawyer Referral Service simply fill out the form found at https://www.vtbar.org/LRS/. The service needs to collect your personal information so that it can contact you with questions or your information to the selected attorney so that the attorney is aware of the referral. The information you provide is for purposes of the referral only and otherwise remains confidential.

If you have questions, you can call the service. A trained staff member will answer the call and talk with you in order to find out more about your legal problem. The office is open on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

If appropriate, the staff member will refer you to a local and qualified attorney in your area. The Vermont Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service makes referrals to attorneys across the state in all major practice areas of the law.

The referral is free, but if you wish to have a consultation with the attorney then you must pay the nominal fee of no more than $25 for a 30-minute consultation. During the consultation, you can decide if you want to hire the attorney to perform any other services on your behalf. The attorney will explain the attorney fees required for those additional services, if appropriate.

If the caller indicates a need for legal assistance in an area for which there is a “specialty” panel, the caller will be informed that the attorney being referred is not a designated specialist, but has indicated a willingness to accept cases in that field of law. When participating in the LRS, attorneys are reminded of Rule 1.1 of the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct.

The Lawyer Referral Services in Vermont is for people who can afford to hire an attorney. The Vermont Bar Association also supports various programs designed to help people who cannot afford an attorney including:

  • Vermont Legal Aid and Legal Services Law Line of Vermont
    • Helps low-income, disabled, and elderly Vermonters. The service gives information, advice, and referrals to free or low-cost legal projects. 
  • Legal Services Vermont 1-800-889-2047 VTLawHelp.Org
  • Vermont Free Legal Answers https://vt.freelegalanswers.org/
    • Vermonters can also use the link on the VBA web site to find Vermont Free Legal Answers. The service allows low-income Vermonters to ask a volunteer lawyer legal questions online. 
  • South Royalton Legal Clinic at Vermont Law School 1-802-831-1500
    • The Vermont Law School in South Royalton has a Community Legal Information Corner (CLIC) located in the law school's library. Librarians can give you guidance. Contact the Ask a Law Librarian Line at 802-831-1313 or email reference questions to reference@vermontlaw.edu.
  • VBA Modest Means Project
    • When Legal Services Vermont or Vermont Legal Aid can not help, the Vermont Bar Association's Modest Means Project might be able to help. Lawyers who are part of the Modest Means Project take cases for a lower fee, depending on the client's situation and income.

Rule 1.1 of the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct

According to Rule 1.1 of the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct, a lawyer shall provide "competent representation" to a client. The term "competent representation" is defined to require "the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation."

The comments that follow Rule 1.1 explain that when determining whether a lawyer employs the requisite knowledge and skill in a particular matter, relevant factors include:

  • the relative complexity and specialized nature of the matter
  • the lawyer’s general experience
  • the lawyer’s training and experience in the field in question
  • the preparation and study the lawyer is able to give the matter and whether it is feasible to refer the matter to,
  • associate or consult with, a lawyer of established competence in the field in question.

Although the required proficiency is usually that of a general practitioner, expertise in a particular field of law may be required in some circumstances.

The comments to Rule 1.1 explain that competent handling of a particular legal matter includes:

  • inquiry into and analysis of the factual and legal elements of the problem;
  • use of methods and procedures meeting the standards of competent practitioners; and
  • adequate preparation. 

When it comes to maintaining the requisite knowledge and skill, the comments to Rule 1.1 explain that a "lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject."

Read more about the bar rules in Vermont for attorney advertisements.

Additional Resources

Vermont Bar Association - Visit the website of the Vermont Bar Association to find information on the Vermont Bar Association Annual Meeting. the Vermont Bar Association (VBA) Mid-Year Meeting, and the VBA Solo & Small Firm Conference. The Vermont Bar Association publishes a PDF form that includes a list of all licensed Vermont attorneys in the state who are in good standing.

Bar Admissions - State of Vermont Judiciary - Visit the website of the Vermont Judiciary to find more information on the bar admission process, rules for admission, general eligibility requirements, and information about the bar exam. Find information on how to search for an attorney member of the Vermont State Bar and learn more about the attorney’s disciplinary history and find complaints.

Directory to Find an Attorney in Vermont - Use the Lawyer Legion directory to find an attorney in Vermont. Search by practice area, location, zip code, name or by using the name of the law firm. Practice areas including criminal defense, personal injury, family law, immigration and more. The online attorney directory is free to the public and to attorneys. If you are an attorney practicing in Vermont, claim your profile today. For example, see how the directory works for criminal defense attorneys in Vermont.

Finding an Attorney in Vermont

If you need to find an attorney in Vermont, then consider beginning your search by contacting the Lawyer Referral Service sponsored by the Vermont Bar Association. For a nominal fee, you can talk directly with a qualified attorney in your city or town about your legal problem.

Lawyer Referral Services have a big impact. According to its website, the VBA LRS referred cases that generated more than 2,800,000 in the past three years. In 2018, the LRS in Vermont handled more than 7,200 calls from the public. The trained staff members screen every phone call, directing the callers to a referral panel member or other resources if needed.

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