The Lawyer Referral Service is here to serve the public, and you.
We help you develop your clientele, and your reputation. Our service is one of only 70 across the country to meet the American Bar Association standards, and authorized to use its logo and slogan, The Right Call for the Right Lawyer.
How it works
When you join LRS, you register in panels or areas of law, selecting from more than 200 sub-categories for which you qualify according to criteria set by our service, as well as geography, areas of law, courts of jurisdiction, facilitation in foreign languages, and others. Our staff screens each client call to determine if legal consultation appears warranted, and then tailors each search according to as many as four panels to accommodate what seem to be the major issues involved. If we refer a caller to you, we instruct them to call you, and assure them that you will return their call within three days. If they do not hear from you within three days; or if, after an initial conversation, you determine that you are unable to assist them, they call us back, and may be referred to someone else.
Fees: Yours and Ours
LRS clients are not expecting pro bono or reduced-fee services: callers who say they cannot afford attorney fees are directed to other resources. We make sure our callers understand that, while the $25 referral fee to the service covers the first half-hour of their initial consultation with you, they will need to reach an agreement with you about fees and method of payment if they need more than a half-hour, or if they decide to engage you for services.
We also let them know that legal questions are most often not as simple as they may wish, and that attorneys can rarely give substantive legal advice in the space of a half-hour. There will always be a small number of people referred who may have simple questions that can be answered in this span of time. By accommodating these people, we promote the reputation of the Bar Association, enhance the image of the legal profession, and perform a valuable professional service. That said, we let people know that the initial consultation is primarily an opportunity to begin to explore their legal options and decide if they are ready to pursue the matter in more detail.
The LRS annual membership fee is $100 for MSBA members, $150 for non-members. When one of our referrals becomes a paying client, you remit a percentage fee to us of 10% calculated on fees collected after a threshold of $200, and excluding court fees. Your fees, percentage remittals, and participation support both our ability to help you find clients, and the ability of our service to promote the image of legal professionals and the Maine State Bar Association.
For more complete information about the service, call LRS Director Rachel MacArthur at 622-7523.
The mission of the Lawyer Referral Service is to provide the public with referrals to qualified attorneys who will provide an initial brief consultation without charge. In order to fulfill its mission, the service embraces attendant responsibilities toward both callers and attorneys. These responsibilities include:
- Helping callers determine whether a referral to an attorney is the most appropriate action at the time;
- Providing callers, when possible, with suitable suggestions for legal information resources;
- Directing callers of limited means to other sources of assistance and support;
- Ensuring that all referrals understand that the attorneys will charge reasonable fees for any work beyond the initial 30-minute consultation; and
- Notifying attorneys of referrals made to them, with information regarding the issues as presented after a conflict of interest check (if needed).
The Lawyer Referral Service is further committed to performing so as to nurture the respect with which the Maine State Bar Association is held both by the legal community, and the general public; and to working in cooperation with other legal entities to increase access to justice for the people of Maine.
NOTE: Applicants must read the Membership Standards & Rules and sign and return the LRS Membership Certification of Agreement. The documents are linked above.