Public Lawyer Referral Services in Baltimore County
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Public Lawyer Referral services are generally run by state agencies, such as bar associations. Lawyers in Baltimore County can generally be members of two bar associations — the Maryland State Bar Association and the Baltimore County Bar Association.
The Maryland State Bar Association does not provide residents of the state with any attorney referral service. However, it does contain a comprehensive list of every attorney that is a member of the Maryland State Bar. These attorneys are listed in a searchable database where users can select geographic location and type of law practice. A search in this database will bring up a list of attorneys who match the criteria searched for and their contact information.
However, there is little information provided outside of an attorney's contact information and users must make the initial contact with the attorney on their own. As well, as is the case with many state bar associations, the contact information for many of the attorneys may not be up to date. Outside of this searchable database, the Maryland State Bar Association does not provide any support for clients seeking attorneys.
The Baltimore County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service is a public, non-profit referral service that is provided to residents of Baltimore County. In order to use this service, clients must call or show up in person to the office where a staff attorney will evaluate your situation to determine whether or not you need an attorney. If the attorney determines that your situation requires a legal professional, you will be referred to an attorney who has experience with your type of legal problem. There is a $35 fee for an initial 30-minute consultation with the attorney you are referred to. As well, there is no guarantee that the attorney will decide to take your case, and if not, you must go through the entire process again, and pay another $35 fee for your next consultation. The Baltimore County Bar Association does not provide any satisfaction guarantees and provides no information about how best to deal with your attorney.
Both of these public organizations make their users do a lot on their own. Neither the database provided by the Maryland Bar Association nor the Baltimore County Bar Association provides clients with profiles or billing rates of the attorneys that they list/refer, nor do these organizations provide any sort of satisfaction guarantee.