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How do I choose a lawyer?

The Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries has written a useful guide to finding a lawyer in Massachusetts.

What is a a Lawyer Referral Service?

A Lawyer Referral Service connects potential clients with lawyers. You contact the Lawyer Referral Service and give them information about your legal problem. The Lawyer Referral Service will give you contact information for one or more lawyers who might be able to help. Most of the time, you will need to pay if you want to hire the lawyer, although the first meeting is often free or low cost.

You can contact a Lawyer Referral Service even if you are not sure that you can pay for a lawyer. Sometimes, a Lawyer Referral Service can refer you to a reduced fee lawyer. Sometimes,  you only need to pay your lawyer if you win. And sometimes, the other side will pay your lawyer if you win.

What is Limited Assistance Representation (LAR)?

Sometimes you can hire a lawyer for only part of your case. This is called Limited Assistance Representation. Tell the Lawyer Referral Service that you are interested in LAR if you want to find out whether this might be possible for you.

Also, the Probate and Family Court has a list of LAR lawyers, by county.

What is a Lawyer Referral Service?

A Lawyer Referral Service connects potential clients with lawyers. You contact the service and give them information about your legal problem. The service will give you contact information for one or more lawyers who might be able to help. Most of the time, you will need to pay if you want to hire the lawyer, although the first meeting is often free or low cost.
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The Boston Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service is a public service provided by the Boston Bar Association. We make referrals to lawyers or other resources that specialize in the area of law related to your specific situation.

We also operate the Military Legal Help Line. This line connects veterans, military personnel, and their families with lawyers and other legal resources. 

(617) 742-0625
(800) 552-7046
Service Areas:
Greater Boston

The Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) is a service of the Essex County Bar Associationin Salem, Massachusetts, a non-profit organization for attorneys. The ECBA LRS consists of many attorneys in every field of law to assist you with your case.

Service Areas:
Northeast Massachusetts

Fair Employment Project is a non-profit organization whose mission is to reduce violations of employment civil rights. FEP offers information and self-help tools—legal “first aid”—to Massachusetts workers about their rights on the job and the legal process. FEP collaborates with other organizations to provide additional services when possible.

Service Areas:
Statewide

The Franklin County Bar Association sponsors a Lawyer Referral Service that refers members of the public to private attorneys. If you need to hire an attorney in Franklin County or Western Worcester County, the Lawyer Referral Service can direct you to a local lawyer who practices in the area of law that will serve your needs best.

Service Areas:
Central MassachusettsWestern Massachusetts

The Hampden County Bar Association sponsors a Lawyer Referral & Information Service that refers members of the public to private attorneys. While our service does not employ attorneys or provide legal advice over the phone, we will provide you with the name of an attorney located within Hampden County who will handle your particular problem.

The Lawyer Referral Service, a public service of the Hampshire County Bar Association, refers individuals to an appropriate attorney or agency for their specific legal or non-legal needs.

Service Areas:
Western Massachusetts

A Legal Incubator Program of the University of Massachusetts School of Law. All legal representation is provided by licensed attorneys in good standing, who carry professional liability insurance and consult with over 80 retired judges and other in-residence and on-call mentors in the incubator program who average over 30 years of legal experience.

The Center attorneys provide discounted legal services at a scaled hourly rate for clients falling within 225 to 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (approximately $60,625 to $72,750 in annual income for a family of four). 

The Center provides the following services:

Legal consultation and advice, as well as limited scope representation (LAR) and full legal representation, in the most civil practice areas, including family law (including divorce, custody, alimony, child support, modifications), housing (including evictions and breach of warranty law), consumer law, debt collection and re-finance, bankruptcy, probate, wills and trusts, immigration, business law, incorporation, representation of non-profits, employment law, and education law (including IEP plans and special education appeals).    

Service Areas:
StatewideGreater Boston

A Legal Incubator Program of the University of Massachusetts School of Law. All legal representation is provided by licensed attorneys in good standing, who carry professional liability insurance and consult with over 80 retired judges and other in-residence and on-call mentors in the incubator program who average over 30 years of legal experience.

Incubator attorneys provide discounted legal services at a scaled hourly rate for clients falling within 200 to 225% of the Federal Poverty Level (approximately $48,500 in annual income for a family of four).

The Center provides the following services:

Legal consultation and advice, as well as limited scope representation (LAR) and full legal representation, in the most civil practice areas, including family law (including divorce, custody, alimony, child support, modifications), housing (including evictions and breach of warranty law), consumer law, debt collection and re-finance, bankruptcy, probate, wills and trusts, immigration, business law, incorporation, representation of non-profits, employment law, and education law (including IEP plans and special education appeals).    

Service Areas:
Southeast, Cape & Islands

Lawyers for Affordable Justice is a nonprofit organization with the mission of connecting those in need of legal services, but who are unable to access them, with lawyers who will fit their budgets. We have a group of private lawyers, which we refer to as our “panel”, who offer affordable legal services to low and moderate income individuals. Contact us online at: https://lawyers4aj.org/

Service Areas:
Statewide

The Massachusetts Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service is one of the largest legal referral services in the nation. If you are buying/selling a home, starting a business, going through a divorce or need a will, you may need to hire the right attorney to answer your questions and help resolve your legal problems. Note: There is no cost to use the LRS, but referrals are made to fee charging attorneys.

Service Areas:
Statewide

The MCBA’s Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) is a non-profit program designed to assist members of the public in obtaining appropriate and affordable legal services. The LRS maintains a listing of MCBA member attorneys available to represent new clients in diverse subject areas, including personal injury, criminal, divorce, child custody, probate, adoption, employment, wills and trusts, contracts and real estate.

(781) 939-2797
Service Areas:
Greater BostonMetro WestNortheast Massachusetts

The National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) is a nonprofit association of more than 1,500 attorneys and consumer advocates committed to representing consumers’ interests. Use their online search for a referral to a lawyer specializing in consumer and bankruptcy law.

The Bar Association of Norfolk County, founded in 1797 is said to be the oldest Bar Association in the Commonwealth. As a non-profit agency we have a panel of experienced attorneys to assist you in all legal matters. All attorneys on our Referral Panel are members in good standing with the Bar Association of Norfolk County.

Service Areas:
Statewide

The Lawyer Referral Service of the Worcester County Bar Association is a public service program to help you find the right lawyer for your legal issue. We can refer you to an attorney who concentrates their practice in the area of law in which you need assistance. 

Service Areas:
Central Massachusetts