Milwaukee County Public Lawyer Referral Services
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Residents of Milwaukee County have two public agencies: the Wisconsin State Bar Lawyer Referral Service and the Milwaukee Bar Association. Both of these services have their own advantages and disadvantages.
The Wisconsin State Bar Association charges $20 which goes towards the initial lawyer consultation. The client is limited to a single attorney for the referral and not much information is given about the attorney. After the referral is given, it is the responsibility of the client to determine the attorney's suitability. Much like a standard referral service, the Wisconsin State Bar will input the client's location and legal area into their data system and the representative will select the first name available on the list. Finding an attorney that is a good match for the client is left partly to chance.
The Milwaukee Bar Association is a bit more helpful than the Wisconsin State Bar. Their system of selection is largely the same as the Wisconsin State Bar Association; they do allow a client to give more specific parameters. The Milwaukee Bar Association also provides in-house arbitration for attorney-client disputes. Finally, the Milwaukee Bar Association provides clients with reviews from the referred attorney's past clients. The major flaw with their system is that they still provide only one attorney and their attorney is selected based on whoever is next on their database list. An experienced client can testify to the fact that it takes more than a few parameters to find an attorney that suits a client.
Both of the above services are an option for an attorney referral, but it is not necessarily a strong option. Selecting an attorney from the top of a list often falls short of what a client wants from their referral service. All of these attorneys are in good standing with the State Bar but a person seeking an attorney can probably determine standing on their own.