Lawyer referral services are all over the Internet. This article calls into question the efficacy of such services. There are three basic types of Internet lawyer referral services, 1) state or city bar association sites, 2) marketing agency advertisements and 3) lawyer-to-lawyer services.
The bar association sites provide lists of attorneys in the various areas of law. Some sites require that the listed lawyers be professionally certified. Many do not. There is little financial incentive for these sites to make the best possible referrals. And so, this is not the ideal way to search online for an attorney. Console and Associates P.C. has some nice tips on this.
Referral sites run by ad agencies also provide listings. These listings are solicited from lawyers looking for business. The sites financial incentive is to sell ads, not to make the optimal referral. There is almost no quality control here. When you pick almost blindly from listings of lawyers, you don’t know what you are getting. This is generally not a good way to find a lawyer.
Lawyer-to-lawyer sites are monitored by a lawyer. Lawyer-monitored referral services offer free nationwide referrals so that you can find the personal injury attorney in your area best suited to you and your case. These lawyers should have an ever broadening national network of trial lawyers to whom referrals are made when their law firm is not able to represent you.
The lawyer should personally handle all calls, faxes and emails regarding possible referrals. He should personally contact the attorneys in the referral network to ensure the best possible match. And he should personally contact you, almost always within 24 hours, with recommendations. He then should follow up to make sure you are happy. Finally, he should personally monitor all referrals over the course of the referral to make sure the case is proceeding smoothly.
The lawyer who runs the referral service gets paid by the referral lawyer only upon the successful conclusion of the case. The motivation is to find you the lawyer who will maximize your recovery and to do so with all due speed.