WisBar News: Attorney referral service needs lawyers statewide, join now, discounts available:

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  • WisBar News
    December
    29
    2006

    Attorney referral service needs lawyers statewide, join now, discounts available

    Deb Heneghan
    Publications Reporter

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    Every year, more than 1,000 clients with identified legal needs and the ability to pay for legal assistance are unable to obtain a referral to an attorney through the State Bar’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) because there are no LRIS panel attorneys in the counties where callers need help.

    Attorney referral service – a marketing tool and a public service – needs lawyers statewide, join now, discounts available

    December 29, 2006 - Every year, more than 1,000 clients with identified legal needs and the ability to pay for legal assistance are unable to obtain a referral to an attorney through the State Bar’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) because there are no LRIS panel attorneys in the counties where callers need help.

    LRIS needs attorneys in rural counties

    Attorneys statewide are encouraged to register for LRIS. Expert advisers in all types of practice are needed – particularly in family and criminal law. Attorneys are needed urgently in the following counties.

    Bayfield
    Buffalo
    Burnett
    Calumet
    Crawford
    Door

    Juneau
    Kewaunee
    Marinette
    Richland
    Rusk
    Waushara


    Attorneys are especially needed in the state’s more rural counties (see inset); however, attorneys statewide are encouraged to register for the service. While the highest percentages of callers need administrative, consumer, criminal, family, real property, torts, labor, bankruptcy, estate planning, and business law help, LRIS seeks attorneys in all practice areas.

    “LRIS offers attorneys an easy way to serve the public, but also is ideal for attorneys who find it difficult to find the time to manage the business aspects of their law practice to market their services,” says LRIS Committee Chair Janice Bensky of Madison. “LRIS referrals are prescreened saving even more time. It’s a win-win situation for both clients and attorneys. LRIS offers a valuable public service and a way for attorneys to build their client base.”

    Lawyers who register can join two pools of referrals – phone and Internet. Web referrals account for more than 40 percent of the total referrals made, yet the Web site’s existence has not decreased the number of phone calls to the service, which remains at more than 40,000 annually.

    Experienced legal assistants evaluate callers’ needs and then refer them to an attorney, a community or government resource, the Lawyer Hotline, or simply answer  basic questions.

    Participation in the Internet service is optional and included with LRIS registration at no additional charge. Users access LRIS through LegalExplorer.com, the State Bar’s consumer site, and receive referrals by selecting a legal practice area and geographic location. As with LRIS’s telephone referral service, online referrals are made on an impartial, county-by-county, rotation basis. Clients contact attorneys directly to set up an appointment, and LRIS sends the attorney related paperwork via conventional mail.

    Join now and pay $47.50 through June 30, 2007 (half off the annual registration fee). Lawyers also can sign up for 18 months, through June 30, 2008, at $128.25 for an additional 10 percent savings. Lawyers admitted to practice between July 1, 2003 and Dec. 31, 2005 can join for $37.50, and lawyers admitted in 2006 can join for $22.50 (through June 30, 2007).

    Download a registration form.

    For more information about LRIS.