The United States is a vast nation with 3.8 million square miles of land. Of our 321.4 million population, 1.3 million of them are active and practicing lawyers. But lawyers tend to practice near big cities or where large businesses have gathered. So how do you find a lawyer near you that will take your case?
In this day and age, your town lawyer will not set up shop on Main Street. Instead, the best way to find a lawyer is to use the Internet. But with so many possible avenues and confusing results, one of the best ways to start is with your State Bar’s Attorney Search. For example, the California Bar Association Attorney Search allows you to search for attorneys so long as you know the name of your future attorney. Through the search, you can see where they work, an email to contact them, where they went to school, how long they have been a member, and if there are any complaints or issues filed against them. While California does not offer a legal referral program, you can see if a lawyer you might hire has any infractions or issues against them.
Not all bar associations are created equal. While smaller associations help their members establish in the legal community, a large association can help members find new clients. Many bar associations offer a legal referral service and/or pro bono services for individuals who can’t afford a lawyer. If they can’t offer a referral service, they may also have a list of all of their members with their area of practice, as well as a way to contact their members.
While you can easily find and contact your State Bar Association, the smaller and local bar associations may be hard to pin down. By using BarAssociationDirectory.com, you can find a list of the bar associations in your state. While bigger states, like California, can have over 100 bar associations, some smaller states may have up to 10. You can find out if the smaller bar associations are in your area, and see if they offer a legal referral or a pro bono program. You may even find a local bar association that specializes in your issue, like a criminal defense bar association.
Luckily, many State Bar Associations offer a legal referral program, but if you are in a state that does not then you can still reach out to the local associations to see if they can help. If all else fails, there are private legal referral programs that can help you get to where you need to go.