An attorney referral service is a resource that helps individuals find a lawyer who practices in the legal field that their case involves. These services are typically run by the bar association of the particular state.
Depending on the size of the state, bar associations may also be brown down in affiliated county or city state bar associations. For example, if an individual is searching for an attorney in a certain state, they may use the limited directory that is offered by that state bar association.
These limited services would not be considered attorney referral services. In contrast, an individual may be able to visit a county or city bar association that does offer attorney referral services.
Services that are provided by a state or local bar association will typically cost between $20 to $25 per lawyer referral.
How Does an Attorney Referral Service Work?
Attorney referral services work when an individual finds the service and contacts them. Once they reach the service, the individual will have to explain the reason why they are calling, or their legal issue, to the attorney referral service representative.
Based on this information, the representative will search the attorneys listed in their database and provide the caller with the name and contact information of one of their member attorneys.
Lawyer Referrals in Alabama
Most individuals do not know where they should begin when they need to find a lawyer. In the State of Alabama, there are numerous resources available to aid individuals in their search.
These Alabama lawyer referral services help Alabama residents connect with local lawyers who specialize in the area of law needed. These referral services may also connect individuals who are unable to afford attorneys with lawyers who can help them.
What Is the Alabama State Bar Association?
The Alabama State Bar is an independent agency of the Supreme Court of Alabama. The Alabama State Bar has the authority to regulate the legal profession in Alabama.
This authority was derived from the Alabama constitution and delegated to the state bar by the Alabama Supreme Court. The Alabama State Bar provides attorney referrals on their website.
This service categorizes its search based first on the general legal area an individual is concerned with and then narrows to more specific legal topics. After an individual inputs their location and basic personal information, the service will provide them with one lawyer referral.
Although this referral service is free to use, the initial consultation with the attorney will be $50. In addition to this type of referral, the Alabama State Bar’s lawyer referral service program is also designed to help individuals who cannot afford to pay an attorney but do not know how to find one.
All of the panel members of the lawyer referral service are required to:
- Be licensed in Alabama;
- Be a member in good standing of the Alabama State Bar; and
- Maintain professional liability insurance coverage of not less than $100,000 or $300,000 in order to participate.
How Does the Alabama State Bar Lawyer Referral Service Work?
When a potential client calls the Alabama Bar Association lawyer referral service, they are asked to briefly explain their legal issue. The referral service representative then asks their information, including their:
- Address; and
- Telephone number.
After this, the individual is provided with the name of an attorney who practices in the area of law that their issue involves, if one is available in their county. The referral service representative will then notify the attorney by email and include the potential client’s contact information as well as information regarding whether or not the lawyer may contact the potential client directly.
What Are Other Alabama Local Counties Bar Associations?
In addition to the services that are offered by the Alabama State Bar, the Birmingham Bar Association and Mobile Bar Association offer their own lawyer referrals. The Birmingham Bar Association offers a lawyer referral service on their website.
After a potential client selects the area of law they need, the service will provide a list of all of the attorneys who practice in that area. Although this service is free, there is no information regarding the cost of an initial consultation.
The lawyer referral service that is sponsored by the Birmingham Bar Association serves both Jefferson County and Shelby County in Alabama. The Birmingham Bar Association includes 150 participating lawyers who are pre-screened for their experience in a variety of different subject matters such as:
The Mobile Bar Association offers a more traditional type of attorney referral service. A potential client must call the Mobile Bar Association who will provide one lawyer referral.
This referral service is free of charge. However, the cost for an initial consultation with a lawyer is $15.
Other Ways to Find Legal Help in Alabama
There are several ways for an individual to find the best lawyers in Alabama. If an individual cannot afford legal assistance, there are many free legal resources available.
Many of these resources, however, require that an individual:
- Resides in a specific area;
- Belongs to a certain group of individuals, such as elderly or veterans; or
- Qualifies as low income.
An individual may also obtain assistance with filling out forms related to:
- Wage garnishments;
- Child support or child custody;
- Divorce; and
- Other legal matters that do not require direct legal representation.
To find out more about finding free or pro bono legal help and help navigating the process for forms and form filing, visit Alabama Legal Help. Another excellent way to find legal help in Alabama is to use LegalMatch and post your case to a lawyer within minutes at no charge.
LegalMatch offers many advantages over traditional lawyer referral services, including:
- All attorneys are pre-screened: Every attorney who is registered with LegalMatch is required to:
- have a valid bar license;
- have excellent references;
- not have any serious disciplinary problems; and
- be in good standing with their particular state bar association;
- The ability to view detailed information about all prospective attorney matches: When using LegalMatch, a potential client can learn the attorney’s:
- educational history, including their undergraduate and law school education;
- legal experience;
- what types of cases they handle;
- legal fees and charges; and
- ratings from clients that the lawyer has previously represented;
- With LegalMatch, a potential client only needs to state their legal issue one time: A potential client only has to explain their case once during the submission process and can then choose which attorney to hire;
- LegalMatch allows an individual to post their case while remaining completely confidential throughout the process: An individual can post anonymously from the comfort of their home, or from the office where they work;
- Potential attorney matches will see the facts of the individual’s case, but not their name;
- LegalMatch backs all attorney matches with a $1,000-$5,000 satisfaction guarantee: Attorney referral services do not offer any such guarantees; and
- LegalMatch concentrates on being the ultimate platform for attorneys and potential clients to meet and make connections: Using LegalMatch is a free and quick process for gathering information on multiple attorneys who can potentially help an individual with their legal issue.
Over 98% of LegalMatch users state that they would use the service again and would recommend it to friends and family. LegalMatch provides a way for individuals to find lawyers faster, easier, and more informed than bar referral services, the Yellow Pages, or Internet searches.
How Can LegalMatch Help Find a Lawyer?
If you need an Alabama lawyer, LegalMatch provides private, online services that allows you to post your case for free in just a few minutes. You have nothing to lose by posting your legal issue on LegalMatch anonymously, online, and at no charge to you.
LegalMatch provides the most detailed information in the lawyer responses which allows you to choose a lawyer with whom you would be comfortable working and who will best fit your budget.