Q. What is the Lawyer Referral Service (LRS)?
A. The North Carolina Lawyer Referral Service provides the name of a lawyer to members of the public. LRS staff tries to match callers with a lawyer located near them. LRS provides nearly 50,000 referrals each year to callers. LRS lawyers will charge no more than $50 for the initial 30-minute consultation, if the caller tells the lawyer they were referred by LRS. LRS does not provide referrals to lawyers that work for free.
Q. How does LRS work?
A. The LRS hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. When you call LRS, staff will ask questions to figure out what type of lawyer you need. LRS specialists who answer the phone are not lawyers and cannot provide legal advice.
Once the LRS specialist determines what type of lawyer you need, you will be given the name and telephone number of a lawyer who is located near you, if possible. You may also be given other information that the LRS specialist thinks will help you. The lawyer will receive a confirmation of the referral.
It is your responsibility to call the lawyer and tell them that you were referred by the LRS. If the lawyer is not able to help you, you can call LRS back to receive another referral. We provide one referral at a time.
Q. Is there a fee to contact the LRS?
A. No. There is no charge to call and speak with an LRS specialist, or to have a referral given to you. If you call from out of state, there is a toll charge for the long distance phone call. People calling from North Carolina may call toll free (800) 662-7660. If you are calling from out of state, or the toll-free number does not work for you, please call (919) 677-8574.
Q. Will the lawyer charge a fee?
A. Yes. In most cases, the lawyer will charge $50 for a 30-minute consultation. Some lawyers do not charge for brief consultations, and many do. When you call the lawyer’s office, you should ask about any fees.
Q. How are lawyers selected to be on the panel?
A. LRS membership is open to any lawyer licensed in North Carolina, who is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association, a member in good standing with the North Carolina State Bar, and who has malpractice insurance. We cannot recommend “the best” lawyer, because all of the lawyers who are members of LRS meet the same criteria to be included.
Q. Do you have a list of pro bono lawyers?
A. No. The LRS does NOT provide referrals to pro bono lawyers or lawyers that work for free. All LRS members expect to be paid for their services. In limited situations, LRS staff may be able to identify legal and non-legal resources for callers that do not cost money, but this is not always possible.
Q. Do you have a list of lawyers who will work out a payment plan?
A. No. The Lawyer Referral Service does NOT maintain any information on payment arrangements for any of the LRS lawyers. Please ask the lawyer that you are referred to when you call to make your appointment.
Q. Does the LRS rate its lawyers?
A. No. All of our LRS members are licensed in North Carolina, maintain liability insurance and are in good standing with both the North Carolina Bar Association and the North Carolina State Bar.