Join the Lawyer Referral and Information Service

2016 Application

Lawyer Referral Newsletter (Summer 2016)

Incoming call stats: Jan. - June 2016 

LRIS Rules (Amended January 2013)

Overview of Program*

The LRIS has been serving the public for over 30 years and is designed to fill in the gaps where a local bar is not coordinating a referral panel. Currently our service covers 44 out of the 62 counties in NYS. Eligible attorneys must have a physical office in one of our service counties*. (Attorneys practicing outside of our coverage area are encouraged to join their local bar’s referral panel. If our service gets a referral request outside our coverage area we refer the caller to the appropriate local bar. Last year we referred 8,186 callers to local bar referral programs.)

Lawyers who are members of the LRIS pay an annual fee of $75 ($125 for non-NYSBA members). Proof of malpractice insurance in the minimum amount of $100,000 is required of all participants.  If you are retained by a referred client, you agree to pay the LRIS 10% of the entire fee for any case of $500 or more. 

Contact Eva Valentin-Espinal ( Manager of the Lawyer Referral and Information Service for more information. 

How we screen calls and refer clients

The LRIS staff receives more than 100 calls per day from members of the public seeking legal assistance. These calls are screened by our staff to elicit pertinent information regarding the nature of their legal problem. Callers that would be more appropriately helped by other organizations, such as other bar referral services, legal aid societies, or governmental agencies are given contact information for these offices.  

Callers needing the advice of an attorney, and who can afford to pay a private attorney, are referred to LRIS panel members on a rotating basis. They are told to expect a ½ hour in-office $35 consultation fee, and to be sure to mention that they were referred by the New York State Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service.  After the initial consultation the attorney sets their own fees.

Attorneys are notified by e-mail when a referral has been made. A hard copy of the referral with follow-up questions is mailed to both the client and the attorney. 

Questions? Call 1 (800) 342-3661 or e-mail

*Participating attorneys must have an office in one of the following counties: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates.