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|Frequently Asked Questions|
The Lawyer Referral Service of the Maine State Bar Association connects people who have legal questions or are in need of legal services with qualified Maine attorneys. The following Q&A explains how the Lawyer Referral Service works.
How do I request a referral? Through a phone conversation with an intake worker at 800-860-1460 during regular business hours, or by submitting a referral request form online when it's convenient for you. Phone lines are open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30-3:30 and Friday 8:30-12:00. Online requests are received and processed by real people, and you can expect a response from us the next business day.
Are intake workers lawyers? No. There are no attorneys on staff and we cannot answer legal questions or give legal advice. But we are trained to listen carefully and use the information you give us to figure out what areas of law are likely involved. Then we can cross-reference as many as 3 subcategories of law in our attorney database to select one appropriate for your situation.
What kind of law do your attorneys practice? Almost every kind of law. Our attorneys certify they have experience and meet our practice criteria for areas of law they select from a list of more than 200 categories and subcategories. Often, people do not know what kind of attorney they need, or can't find attorneys who can handle more complicated situations that involve several odd areas of law. Talk with us, and we'll figure it out for you.
How soon will I speak with an attorney? It depends on how soon you call the attorney. Once you receive your referral from us, it is up to you to make the first call. You can call right away, or you can wait for weeks. Referrals do not expire. Once you have made your first call, you can expect the attorney will call you back to consult or set up an appointment within 3 business days.
Does it cost anything to talk with an attorney? Yes. You pay the Lawyer Referral Service a $25 administrative fee for the referral. The attorney we refer you to will not charge for the first 30 minutes of a consultation, but will charge standard fees for any substantive work or for lengthier consultations.
Do I pay $25 each time? No. We only charge once for multiple referrals on the same matter. If you want a referral for something entirely different, we will charge another $25 fee, but will not charge again for an additional referral on that matter, if one is needed.
What are standard fees? Standard fees are the fees attorneys charge for their services. Those fees differ among attorneys. They may be hourly, or flat, or you may be required to pay a retainer. A retainer is similar to a down payment. The attorney would draw from that down payment as he or she works on your case. You may also arrange to be billed monthly. But for many things, you will need to pay the attorney as you go. You should discuss fees and payment options during your first conversation with any attorney.
Do you have a list of free or pro bono attorneys? No. The Lawyer Referral Service does not provide referrals to pro bono attorneys. All panel members on our service expect to be paid for their services at their regular rate after the 30-minute consultation, except where a contingency fee arrangement has been established. We may, however, be able to suggest resources for callers that do not cost money.
Why should I use your service? Because we are worth it! We are approved by the American Bar Association because of the criteria we require for attorneys to join, and the standards of service we meet. Attorneys are continuously monitored for compliance with our rules, and surveys are sent regularly to monitor client satisfaction and attorney professionalism. In addition:
Don't wait. If you have a legal question or even think you have a legal problem, let us help you reach the right attorney for consultation.
Call us at 800-860-1460 or submit a referral request form online.