Kings County Public Lawyer Referral Services
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Residents of Kings County have their pick between two public lawyer referral services: the New York City Bar's Lawyer Referral Service, and the Brooklyn Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service. The New York City Bar and the Brooklyn Bar Association have many similarities and differences.
The New York City Bar's Lawyer Referral Service provides referral to, amongst others, the Kings County area. The service operates as a "next-on-list" attorney referral service. To use this service, a client calls in and gives the parameters of their legal issue. A representative of the New York City Bar will input this information into their computer system and then refer whoever is next in line from their panel of attorney members. The attorneys' backgrounds are not checked but the attorneys are required to be in good standing with the New York State Bar Association. The client will have one 30 minute consultation with the selected attorney to determine if the attorney is a good match for the client and if the attorney wants to take the case. The service cost $35 per referral.
The Brooklyn Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service is a little cheaper than the New York City Bar, costing $25 for their referral. Just like the New York City Bar, the Brooklyn Bar Association gives the client a 30 minute consultation with the attorney so that the client and attorney can determine their respective suitability. Outside of New York State Bar certification, there is no extensive background check performed on the member attorneys. The Brooklyn Bar Association also withholds from the client information regarding the attorney's prior cases.
These public lawyer referral services are valuable but incomplete. The services will find an attorney who practices in the field you desire but it does not necessarily find you the right lawyer for your case. Research about the attorney's suitability and interest in the case still needs to be done, which can be very time consuming and expensive.