Inside Track: State Bar's referral service connects lawyers with clients:

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    March 16, 2011 – At some point in their lives, most people come into contact with the legal system, but many people do not know how to get legal help and find the resources they need. Through the State Bar’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS), attorneys are connected with prescreened clients who are looking for assistance.

    “LRIS is the connection between people who need legal representation and attorneys looking to increase their client base,” says LRIS Committee chair Janice Bensky of Madison. “LRIS offers attorneys an easy way to serve the public, but also is ideal for attorneys who lack the time to market their services. The State Bar prescreens LRIS referrals and matches attorneys with clients in their geographic area and their areas of practice – saving lawyers even more time. It’s a win-win situation for both clients and attorneys.”

    Attorneys are especially needed in more rural counties; 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.

    How LRIS works

    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 Website’s existence has not decreased the number of phone calls to the service, which remains at more than 40,000 annually.

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

    Participation in the Internet service is optional and included with LRIS registration at no additional charge. Users access LRIS through the State Bar’s website, 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 appointments.

    Get three months free

    Join now and receive the rest of the 2011 referral year for free (June 30, 2011), with LRIS membership good through June 30, 2012. Lawyers also can sign up for two years, (through June 30, 2013), for a 10 percent savings on the cost of two years. Lawyers admitted to practice after July 1, 2007 can receive additional discounts on their registrations.

    To register, download a registration form or contact the State Bar at (800) 444-9404, ext. 6131.