Hampden County Bar Association Serving Lawyers, the Justice System and the Public
Hampden County Bar Association
P.O. Box 559 ยท 50 State Street
Springfield, MA 01102-0559
P: (413) 732-4660
F: (413) 732-6882
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CALL TODAY FOR A REFERRAL: 413-732-4648

LEGAL HELP HOTLINE - SEPTEMBER 20, 2018

What is the Lawyer Referral Service?

The Hampden County Bar Association sponsors a Lawyer Referral & Information Service that refers members of the public to private attorneys. While our service does not employ attorneys or provide legal advice over the phone, we will provide you with the name of an attorney located within Hampden County who will handle your particular problem.

A public service since 1976 the Hampden County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral & Information Service is the only referral service in the Western Massachusetts area to be approved by the American Bar Association.

The LRIS matches people with possible legal issues with qualified attorneys. The attorneys are all members in good standing of the Hampden County Bar Association, have completed specific applications to participate and all carry malpractice insurance.

How Does the Lawyer Referral Service Work?

If you believe you have a legal problem and would like to speak with an attorney, call the Lawyer Referral & Information Service at (413) 732-4648 or send us an e-mail to briefly stating your question and the times you can be reached by telephone. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. A referral consultant may ask you a few questions to determine the nature of your situation. If it is determined that you would benefit from discussing your problem with a lawyer, we will refer you to a private attorney. You will be given the name and telephone number of an attorney, whom you may then contact. The referral consultant might also refer you to an appropriate government or social service agency.

There is no fee for our services. If you are referred to an attorney, we recommend that the attorney charge you no more than $25.00 for your initial half hour consultation. At that time, the attorney should discuss his or her fees with you. Once the client has met with the attorney, if it is determined by the attorney that further legal service is required, the fee arrangement is between the client and the lawyer. Please note, this service does not provide pro bono (free) legal assistance.

The Lawyer Referral & Information Service is a public service provided by the Hampden County Bar Association and does not provide legal advice. The Hampden County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral & Information Service refers individuals to licensed attorneys who have registered with the service to receive referrals in specific areas of law. To request a referral contact us at 413-732-4648 or via email form by clicking here.

Reduced Fee Program

The Reduced Fee Program was organized to provide legal representation for individuals with limited income. The panel members are private attorneys in the Hampden County area who have agreed to take certain cases at a reduced rate. The reduced rate is $75.00 per hour, and you may be required to provide a retainer. There is a non-refundable $10.00 processing fee to apply for this program.  Click here to apply online or click here to download a copy of the reduced fee application. Click here for a list of case types that are eligible for the reduced fee program.

Limited Assistance Representation (LAR)

What is LAR?

Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) is when an attorney represents or assists a litigant with part, but not all, of his or her legal matter, instead of the standard full representation on an entire case. With LAR, litigants can engage an attorney for part of the case—a crucial event, like the case management conference or a motion to dismiss—without the costs of full representation. The attorney and litigant enter into a detailed agreement defining what tasks the attorney will be responsible for and what tasks the litigant will be responsible for.

For a referral to an attorney for limited assistance representation, please email your request indicating you would like to hire a LAR attorney or contact our LRIS office by calling (413) 732-4648.

Additional Resources for Legal Assistance

A personal referral is often the best way to find a lawyer who meets your particular needs. If your relatives, business associates or close friends are unable to recommend a lawyer, many county bar associations provide a public service known as a Lawyer Referral & Information Service.

The Lawyer Referral & Information Service is different from legal aid programs such as Community Legal Aid (413) 781-7814 and other “legal aid” organizations. These are pro bono services that assist individuals at no charge who have limited financial resources and who meet specific eligibility guidelines.

If you have an issue regarding tenant matters in Massachusetts Western Division Housing Court and have limited financial resources, you can contact the Hampden County Legal Clinic (413) 733-6500 to see if you qualify for their services. The Hampden County Legal Clinic is a program of the Hampden County Bar Association which works in conjunction with the Western New England University School of Law and is sponsored by MassMutual Financial Group.

Looking for an attorney in Eastern Massachusetts, click here to access the Boston Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service website which is the only other ABA-Approved LRIS Program in Massachusetts.

Looking for an attorney outside of Massachusetts, click here to access the American Bar Association's Lawyer Referral & Information Service National Map.

ABA LRIS

Use of the ABA Lawyer Referral and Information Service logo indicates that this lawyer referral program has been reviewed by the ABA and meets the specific public service standards established by the ABA. ABA-approved lawyer referral programs:

  • Agree to establish and maintain objective experience requirements for their panel attorneys>
  • Provide a mechanism for client feedback and for resolving client complaints>
  • Do not limit the number of attorneys who may join the Lawyer Referral and Information Service, provided that they meet the objective requirements for panel membership>
  • Require and verify that all panel attorneys carry legal malpractice insurance>

Use of the logo indicates that this program meets ABA standards for lawyer referral services. The ABA does not review the qualifications of the individual lawyers who participate in the service. For more details on the ABA standards, visit www.abanet.org/legalservices/lrsrules.html.

 

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