Private Lawyer Referral Services in King County
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There are an abundance of private lawyer referral agencies that serve the Seattle and King County area. The most prominent private agency is the Northwest Justice Project. This agency created the Coordinated Legal Education Advice and Referral Service (CLEAR). CLEAR has three different phone numbers for its residents. One phone number is for those who are low income, the second is for those that are over the age of sixty regardless of income, and the third is for those who are not low income residents.
All lawyer referrals made through the Northwest Justice Project are free but those who are low income, or over the age of sixty usually qualify for a free legal consultation as well. The agency does not guarantee that they will have an attorney in your area, nor do they guarantee client satisfaction. Also, you may only receive the contact information of 1 attorney at a time, and you must conduct independent research to obtain background information on any of the attorneys you are referred to.
Other King County private agencies such as the Northwest Women's Law Center - Legal Voice, Refugee Women's Alliance, and Korean Women's Association specialize in civil rights law, domestic violence, and family law. All of these organizations do not provide a fee structure or background information on any of their attorneys. Also, the Korean Women's Association only makes referrals where there is an immediate need for attorney assistance for low income residents.
In particular, the Refugee Women's Alliance, Columbia Legal Services, and the Chinese Information and Service Center only provide you with referrals if you do not qualify under the Northwest Justice Project for low income lawyer referrals. The Chinese Information and Service Center specializes in elder, employment, and family law. Columbia Legal Services have a limited pool from which they select attorneys and provide you with little background information about each lawyer. They mostly focus on housing, youth, and senior law. All of these services do not guarantee client satisfaction and only provide you with the contact information of 1 attorney at a time.
Another private agency that provides a lawyer referral service is the Asian Counseling and Referral Service. This organization specializes in employment and immigration law and all of their referrals are made through the King County Bar Association. The Eastside Legal Assistance organization is even more limited in scope than the Asian Counseling and Referral Service because it only provides you with a referral if they find your case to have exceptional circumstances.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association seems to be the only private organization that charges a fee to access its referral service. This agency requires you to become a member of their association which can cost from $25 - $500 annually.
All of these private lawyer referral services do not allow you to compare attorneys or their fee structures. Also, they do not guarantee client satisfaction and you are unable to receive reliable background information on any of the attorneys you work with.