Lawyer Referral Service
What is the Lawyer Referral Service?
The Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) is a public service of the South Carolina Bar that provides referrals to individuals needing qualified, prescreened lawyers. You may call for a referral from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The number to call, both in state and out, is 1-800-868-2284. (In Richland and Lexington counties, call 799-7100.) An online referral service is also available 24/7 and may be accessed by clicking here.
The LRS can refer you to a qualified, prescreened attorney in one of more than 100 areas of law, including the following:
* Personal injury
* Real estate and landlord-tenant
* Family law, including divorce, custody, alimony and child support
* Criminal defense
* Employment law, including discrimination, wrongful termination and unpaid wages
* Most other areas of law
How does LRS work?
The LRS offers referrals by the type of law and by the area or location in which you need a lawyer. Each participating lawyer agrees to charge no more than $50 for a 30-minute consultation. If the consultation extends past the 30 minutes or you hire the lawyer to represent you, the lawyer will charge you his or her normal fees. The lawyers do not take pro bono cases.
Other helpful contacts
If you are indigent and unable to pay for a lawyer's service, you may want to contact LATIS at 1-888-346-5592 to see if you qualify for free or reduced-fee legal services. LATIS will screen you to see if you qualify. If you do not, they may refer you back to the Lawyer Referral Service. To find out more about LATIS, you can visit www.sclegal.org. Click here for a list of helpful phone numbers within the S.C. Bar, S.C. Judicial Department, legal services, state government and other agencies.
Why should you use the Lawyer Referral Service?
Even if you are not sure whether your situation requires a lawyer, in many cases it is useful – and can be less expensive in the end – to obtain the advice of a lawyer early in your case. Benefits of using the LRS are that (1) lawyers signed up with our service are all in good standing with the South Carolina Bar and (2) the Lawyer Referral Service requires its lawyers to maintain malpractice insurance.
What is expected of me?
When you contact the LRS by telephone or access it online, you must give the potential client's name and address to the operator, or type it online. If you are not the potential client, you should have the actual client’s name and address written down before you call. You must provide the same information if you go online. You must also let LRS know how you found out about the Lawyer Referral Service.
If you contact the LRS by telephone, you will be asked to provide a brief explanation of your possible legal situation and in which county your case will be brought. If you access the program online, you will select the county and the type of law, then type a brief explanation of your legal situation.
You will be given the name and number of one lawyer to contact who fits your situation. If the lawyer is unable to assist you, please either revisit the online referral page or call the Lawyer Referral Service at 1-800-868-2284 and explain the situation to the operator, so he or she will try to assist you with another referral. The LRS does not make more than two referrals by telephone.
Once you receive a referral, you will be expected to contact the lawyer by telephone to make an appointment.
IF YOU CHOOSE TO USE THE ONLINE OPTION, PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE SYSTEM CANNOT FILTER OUT ATTORNEYS. THE LAWYER ON THE OTHER SIDE MAY BE THE NEXT NAME ON THE REFERRAL LIST. IF YOU HAVE A LAWYER ON THE OTHER SIDE, PLEASE DO NOT PUT DETAILED INFORMATION INTO YOUR DESCRIPTION OF THE CASE. IF YOU KNOW THE NAME OF THE LAWYER ON THE OTHER SIDE, IT WOULD BE BETTER TO CALL THE SERVICE AND NOT USE THE ONLINE REFERRAL OPTION.