TIPS to finding an attorney
Looking for a specific attorney or searching for one with a special area of practice? Read our State Bar pamphlet, Finding the Right Lawyer.
Here's a quick list of ways to find legal help:
- Attorney records. Check an attorney's official bar membership record (address, phone number, discipline history, etc.) on the State Bar's website.
- Recommendations. Friends, co-workers, employers and even other lawyers can often offer recommendations. Business people or professionals such as bankers, ministers, doctors, social workers and teachers are also good sources.
- Certified lawyer referral services. Some local bar associations provide lawyer referral services. A list of certified lawyer referral services can be found on the State Bar's website, or call toll free in California: 866-442-2529 (866-44-CA-LAW ). Outside California call 415-538-2250.
- Lists of certified legal specialists. The State Bar maintains a list of attorneys who are certified specialists in particular areas of law. A list of Certified Legal Specialists can be found on the State Bar's website.
- Free legal aid agencies. Some people may be eligible for free legal aid, depending on income and the kind of legal problem. LawHelpCalifornia.org provides low-income Californians with easy online access to basic legal resources and attorney information. Also, many law schools have free legal clinics.
- Dispute resolution programs. Many communities have "dispute resolution" programs. These programs can try to help "mediate" or work out problems instead of going to court.
- Prepaid legal services plans. Generally, premiums paid entitle clients to a certain amount of a lawyer's time or to the services of a lawyer at a reduced rate.
- Advertisements. The local Yellow Pages (either in a phone book or online) and newspaper advertisements may provide information about a specific lawyer. Some lawyers and law firms advertise on the web. The same laws governing advertising in print, radio, TV and other media apply to the Internet. In addition, sometimes lawyers join together and advertise their services as a group.