Massachusetts Lawyer Referral Service

Lawyer Referral Service 2009
Massachusetts Bar Association : Lawyer Referral Service

The Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) is a valued project of the National Lawyers Guild. The LRS strives to provide competent legal representation at reduced rates for low to moderate-income residents of Massachusetts. Many callers, frustrated at being told for the first time in their lives they “make too much money” to qualify for free legal services, regain hope with the name and phone number of an LRS attorney scribbled on a piece of paper. Attorneys join the panel to “help [their] community by representing those indigent”, “to reach clients who may otherwise go unrepresented”, and “because [they] care about quality representation for everyone”. The LRS is one small way Guild members work to end the unequal access to justice that exists in today’s system.

By the end of the year the LRS expects to refer about 3, 500 potential cases to our panel of 63 attorneys. The LRS receives about 300 calls per month placing referrals to attorneys on a rotating basis considering first a caller’s legal issue and geographic location. For this reason, many attorneys also join the LRS panel to “improve business”. While 39 attorneys renewed their membership from 2008, 19 new attorneys joined the panel this year. All except for one were also new to the National Lawyers Guild.

Fortunately for callers LRS attorneys practice roughly all areas of law; however, attorneys on the panel are not as regionally diverse. Consistent with years past, the majority of callers are searching for representation for domestic relations matters, civil cases, or tenant issues; though, most recently there has been an increase in referrals for unemployment hearings and appeals, and wrongful termination suits. Unfortunately for callers though, LRS attorneys are generally located in the greater Boston area, with no attorneys practicing in western Massachusetts or on the Cape.


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