Free Legal help for those in need
Published: Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 2, 2012 17:11
Legal help is something many of us rarely think about, and when circumstances change, and hiring a lawyer becomes necessary, it can be challenging to know where to start. Fortunately, there are services available to help guide you through the important process of finding quality representation.
One such organization, The Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Milwaukee Bar Association, offers affordable assistance to anyone searching for a lawyer to help them with a variety of legal issues.
"We have a panel of pre-screened, qualified attorneys that practice in every area of law," says Director Britt Wegner, "When a person from the public calls they speak with a trained interviewer that will listen to their situation and then recommend either an attorney or community resource, depending on their particular situation and needs."
While there is no charge for pointing users to a particular attorney, reviewing your situation with a professional may include a nominal charge, but every effort is made to keep costs down for people using the service. "The referral is free, "says Wegner, "and the initial half hour consultation with the attorney is guaranteed to be no more than $20." Of course, should you choose to hire the lawyer you've been connected with, their services aren't free, but simply using this option does not come with any commitment. In Wegner's words, "Private attorney fees do apply, but there is no obligation to hire the attorney referred."
The referral service is designed to provide an accessible alternative to connecting with an attorney on your own, which many find to be a stressful endeavor. "Finding someone through the yellow pages or a search engine can be intimidating," sympathizes Wegner, "There are so many options and you may not even know what area of law you need the attorney to practice."
Making this resource an even more attractive as a first a first step, is that, in some instances, you may be connected to organizations that can help resolve your issues at no cost, but even those that charge are approved, and care is taken to match you with a lawyer that, if possible, meets your specific needs. "By going through our referral service you will be provided options that may assist in a remedy for no cost (like being referred to a public service or free legal clinic)" explains Wegner. Wegner further stated, "or to an attorney that practices in the area of law that you need and has been screened by the Bar Association."
It's also sometimes difficult to judge the quality of a lawyer if you have no reliable source of information, but with you can be sure that any organization you're connected with through the LRIS have had to prove they meet a certain standard, and users do have recourse if they feel unsatisfied.
"In addition to the criteria needed to join the panel," says Wegner "the attorneys enter into an agreement that would offer mandatory fee arbitration if the client is not satisfied with the services provided."
Those looking for a referral can connect with the Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Milwaukee Bar Association by visiting their website at www. findmilwaukeelawyers.org or contacting them by phone at (414) 274-6768.