Private Lawyer Referral Services in San Francisco County
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San Francisco County has several private attorney referral services which tailor to specific areas of law. These referral services are limited in scope but specialized in the area they focus on. A resident of San Francisco County can look to the AIDS Legal Referral Panel of the San Francisco Bay area, the La Raza Lawyer Referral Service, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform Lawyer Referral Service, California Lawyers for the Arts LRS or Barustors LRS.
The AIDS Legal Referral Panel of the San Francisco Bay Area offers free legal referral services for people with HIV or AIDs. When a client calls in, they can follow a prompted telephone service which gives a list of legal fields to choose from. This service is very limited for specific needs though and is not suitable as an ordinary legal referral service.
La Raza Lawyer Referral Service is a private referral service that focuses on Hispanic and Latino clients. The service is donation based and the response time varies. The service claims to be particularly good for people seeking legal help with immigration matters, like citizenship, residence, visa, and civil procedure issues. Much like the San Francisco AIDS Legal Referral Panel, La Raza is not an appropriate source for referrals outside of their focused legal areas.
The California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform Lawyer Referral Service is the only statewide referral service that deals primarily with elder law issues. The service claims that they have a "rigorous screening requirement to select only highly qualified and experienced elder law attorneys." The referral service requires that the attorneys continue their education and take on a minimum amount of pro-bono cases. Additionally, the attorneys who are part of the service must stay in compliance with the California Business and Professions Code and State Bar's Rules of Operation.
California Lawyers for the Arts is a private organization that tailors to cases related to artists or art. The service cost $20 for members but it is open to non-members for $35. The California Lawyers for the Arts provides their clients with a 30 minute free consultation. The service is slower than others and requires three to five days to find an attorney for a client. These attorneys do come with background checks in which the attorney's qualifications are determined by other active attorneys.
Barustors is much like the other focused attorney referral services, only it tailors to business law. An attorney must be a partner in a law firm with 15 years of experience before the attorney can be considered for membership in the service. The attorney must also be highly rated by other attorneys and carry a minimum of $1,000,000 in professional liability insurance. There is no cost for the referral but there is a limit on legal areas. As one can expect, the service only handles cases that are related to business.