When you call the Metropolitan Lawyer Referral Service, an experienced referral counselor will speak with you first, in complete confidence, to help you determine what might be the most effective action to take in resolving your legal situation.
If we conclude that an attorney referral is appropriate, the next step depends upon the type of case that you have.
If you have called in connection with a matter that might normally be considered a “contingency fee” case - personal injury, wrongful termination, workers compensation or social security disability - or if you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you are entitled to a free referral. We will provide you with the name and phone number of one of our member attorneys who has the necessary expertise and experience. You will call the attorney’s office and they will help you determine whether you have the essential elements of a case worth pursuing. If you do, they may then have you into the office to further discuss your case and complete the paperwork that will finalize your retention of the attorney for legal services. (If meeting locally with the attorney is not possible, the process may take place using fax, phone or e-mail.)
For all other types of legal matters, you will be asked to prepay a modest, below market referral fee of $75 by credit or debit card.
Those paying the referral fee are entitled to an in-person initial consultation with our member attorney, either over the phone or face-to-face, depending upon your circumstances. After paying the fee, you will call the attorney to arrange a convenient time for this consultation.
The initial consultation provides up to 30 minutes for you to explain the case and for the attorney to explain what could be done for you and what the cost might be. Following this initial consultation, should you wish to go ahead and retain the attorney, the traditional lawyer-client relationship is established with fees for services. You are under no obligation to retain the attorney after the consultation.
For those matters which call for prepayment of the $75 referral fee, the Metropolitan Lawyer Referral Service is designed to help people who can afford usual and customary legal fees. If referral to an MLRS attorney is not appropriate, we will make every effort to provide you with a referral to a community service agency or other legal or governmental resource that may offer you affordable assistance.