What is a Lawyer Referral Service

A lawyer referral service is an organization of a group of private attorneys for potential clients to call and be referred to an attorney for of their case and possibly representation. This activity is controlled by statute (Business & Professions Code Section 6155 and State Bar Rules Title 3. Programs and Services. Division 5. Providers of Programs and Services. Chapter 3. Lawyer Referral Services).

Why start a Lawyer Referral Service?

A certified lawyer referral service both protects the public by establishing minimum standards that the attorney member must meet and also serves the public by establishing separate ongoing activities to serve persons of limited means. A lawyer referral service that applies for and receives certification is the approved system for attorneys to market their services to the public. Once the State Bar certifies a Lawyer Referral Service, the attorney members are considered to be experienced, insured, qualified, and committed to serving clients for a wide range of legal problems.

How do I start a Lawyer Referral Service?

If you are interested in starting a LRS please make sure to do the following:

How much does it cost to start a Lawyer Referral Service?

First-time Certification fees are as followed

  • Non-profit $1,000
  • For-profit $5,000

For Multi-County services:

  • Non-profit $1,000 for each county in which the service operates
  • For-profit $5,000 for each county in which the service operates

*Fee cap:  Fees must be paid for each county where a service operates, however, no service will pay more than $10,000 in fees per year.

Call 415-538-2219 or e-mail for additional information.


866-442-2529 or
(toll free in California)
(from outside California)

County Programs


  • To request a Certification Application for a Lawyer Referral Service in California contact Rodney Low at (415) 538-2219 or email:
  • Recertification Application (Call 415-538-2250 or email: for information)