Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) Program

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) Program is not accepting walk-ins. The closure will remain in effect until it it safe to re-open. We are working remotely and continue to issue referrals online and over the phone. For now, consultations will only be provided by phone, until further notice.

We are doing our best to handle the volume of calls we have been receiving. Please bear with us as you may experience longer than usual phone wait times. We appreciate your patience.

Need a Lawyer?

Legal problems can be confusing when you don’t know where to turn for help. Finding the right lawyer is only a phone call away. Call the San Mateo County Bar Association’s Certified Lawyer Referral Service at (650) 369-4149 * Hablamos Español.

Monday – Friday; 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Who are we?

The Lawyer Referral Service was established in 1958 as a non-profit service of the San Mateo County Bar Association and is a State Bar of California certified program (Certificate 0039).

Not Sure What Type of Attorney You Need To Be Referred to?

We have friendly staff trained to select qualified and experienced attorneys to refer you to.  Attorneys are pre-screened and must meet pre-set qualifications in terms of cases handled and years of experience.  They are also required to have malpractice insurance.

How Does the Lawyer Referral Service Work?

To get a referral, please call: (650) 369-4149 to speak to one of our LRS representatives.

For a non-refundable fee of $35 (payable in advance by credit card), we provide you with the name of one attorney who practices in the area of law related to your problem so that you can set up a consultation of up to 30 minutes.

What is a consultation?

The consultation is an opportunity for you to explain the general nature of your legal problem, for the attorney to explain his/her fee structure and to determine if the case is one he/she wishes to pursue. In some cases, an attorney may be able to respond to specific questions, but because the 30-minute time-frame is so limited attorneys cannot spend their time prior to, or during, the appointment reviewing documents. For your safety and the safety of the attorney, consultation will be provided by phone only.

What happens after obtaining a referral?

Once you have obtained your referral, you would then need to contact the attorney to schedule your appointment.  You would want to do this as soon as possible, even if you are interested in scheduling a later appointment.  If you have a time sensitive case, you would need to keep in mind that the attorney you are referred has up to 5 business days to schedule your appointment after you contact them.

Neither you nor the attorney are under any obligation to proceed beyond the initial consultation.  If you choose to hire the attorney for any services, the attorney will set their own fee.

What Type of Attorneys Do We Have Referrals For?

·         Administrative/Government ·         Elder Law ·         Personal Injury
·         Bankruptcy ·         Environmental Law ·         Product Liability
·         Business ·         Estate Planning ·         Property Damage
·         Civil Appeals ·         Family Law ·         Real Estate
·         Civil Rights Law ·         Immigration ·         Small Claims Appeals
·         Collections ·         Intellectual Property ·        Taxation
·         Consumer Rights ·         Labor Law ·         Traffic Infractions
·         Criminal Defense ·         Legal Malpractice ·         Workers Compensation
·         Dental Malpractice ·         Municipal Law ·
·         DMV Issues ·        Name Changes ·

Modest Means Panel:

Our Modest Means Panel offers referrals to attorneys who are willing to offer reduced fees if they take your case.  We offer referrals to attorneys within the following areas of law:

·         Criminal Defense ·         Family Law ·         Wills for Seniors

Please call (650) 369-4149 if you are interested in a referral to one of our Modest Means Panel attorneys.

Limited Scope Representation for Family Law:

We offer referrals for clients who are interested in hiring an attorney to help them with only a portion of their family law case.

Please call (650) 369-4149 if you are interested in a referral to one of our Limited Scope Panel attorneys.

If the Lawyer Referral Service is unable to provide you with the name of an attorney, the Service will attempt to direct you to another resource you may contact for assistance or you may also visit our “Other Resources” page.

You may also visit the State Bar of California’s website to find a lawyer referral service near you.

What Do I Do If I Have A Complaint?

If you believe your attorney has done something wrong, you can file a complaint through the State Bar of California or by calling the State Bar Attorney Complaint Hotline at 800-843-9053.

If you were dissatisfied with our service or have a complaint, please contact our office at (650) 369-4149. If your complaint is unresolved and/or you have a complaint about our certified Lawyer Referral Service, you can file a complaint against the service with the State Bar of California.