Private Attorney Referral Services in Alameda County
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There are three private attorney referral services that the residents of Alameda County can use: California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform Lawyer Referral Service, the AIDS Legal Referral Panel, and the California Lawyers for the Arts Lawyer Referral Service.
California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform Lawyer Referral Service provides referrals for attorneys in Alameda County that practice in the areas of elder abuse, wills and estates, and long term care. The services that are provided are free, but the client must pay an initial consultation fee. The California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform provides clients with a satisfaction guarantee that allows users to ask for a second referral at no charge, but this is the limit of the guarantee. If that second attorney still does not meet the client's needs, the client must go through the referral process again. As well, the service does not allow the client the opportunity to be involved in the process of selecting the attorney and merely refers the next attorney on the list.
The AIDS Legal Referral Panel provides attorney referral services for Alameda County and other portions of the greater Bay Area. This private organization refers attorneys to individuals who have HIV/AIDS most often to safeguard access to medical treatment. As well, the service can refer attorneys for those fighting to maintain their disability income, and will sometimes provide legal services to resolve landlord/tenant disputes. Lastly, the AIDS Legal Referral Panel can provide services that will allow terminally ill clients to draft wills and give durable power of attorneys to make sure that their last wishes are carried out. However, this panel receives little funding and their resources are often stretched thinly, and provides no guarantee that they will be able to provide you with a referred attorney.
The California Lawyers for the Arts Lawyer Referral Service has an attorney referral service for Alameda County residents. The attorneys that are referred through this system are experienced in the laws relating to copyright, art and artist's rights. This referral service charges a fee of $35 for a non-member and $20 for a member. There is a $45 charge to become a member. A client using this service is required to pre-pay this fee and submit their case information. Within three to five days, the client is referred to an attorney and given a free thirty minute consultation with that attorney. There is no satisfaction guarantee that is given to clients who use the service, so the lawyer you are referred to is the lawyer you are stuck with, unless you want to go through the process again.
Even though three services refer specialized attorneys, they are not better services because of it. None of these three services allows the client to have any say in the selection of the referred attorney, nor do they provide much information about the attorney's profile or billing structure.