Lawyer Referral & Information Service
Frequently Asked Questions
The Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) provides an important service to the public by helping you determine if the situation is of a legal nature and referring you to a lawyer (also called an attorney) with experience in the area of law involved in your situation, or by referring you to other services, agencies or appropriate parties.
What is the Lawyer Referral and Information Service?
When you contact the LRIS by phone or email, the LRIS staff obtains contact information and a brief summary of your situation. After the staff member asks you questions to determine your needs, the staff member gives you the name and phone number of an attorney who you may contact immediately. The LRIS staff cannot give legal advice. The LRIS bases referrals on the type of help you need and your geographic location. The LRIS refers to attorneys who have been accepted to be on the LRIS panel, are in good standing with the Missouri Bar and are in private practice. The LRIS does not provide free legal services.
During those hours, a message may be left by pressing “1”. Also, web access referrals may be made 24 hours a day by e-mailing LRIS@bamsl.org or clicking on the links on this website.
How do I get a referral to a lawyer?
The referral is free. A referral to an attorney from the LRIS entitles you to a consultation for up to 30 minutes. A $30 fee is charged for the consultation, except in cases involving Personal Injury, Social Security, and Workers’ Compensation in which the fee is waived. If you decide to hire the attorney referred by the LRIS, the attorney will charge for any additional legal services. The $30 fee does not need to be paid before speaking with the attorney, and can be paid by: giving the payment to the attorney; or returning the payment via check or money order in the self-addressed envelope you will be mailed one week after the referral is made; or by Visa or MasterCard for which we would need your account number, expiration date, and CVV code.
Is there a fee for contacting the LRIS?
Will the attorney charge a fee?
After the first 30 minutes, you will be charged the attorney’s hourly rates so be certain to discuss the attorneys’ fees. We highly recommended you obtain any fee agreement in writing.
What if I need additional legal help after the consultation?
If you need additional legal services after the consultation, the attorney will charge additional fees that you and the attorney will agree upon before you and the attorney proceed. Again, we highly recommend you obtain a fee agreement in writing.
Do you provide a list of lawyers?
You should make sure you feel comfortable with that attorney personally and financially before hiring the attorney. If the referred attorney does not work out for you, please contact the LRIS for another referral. The LRIS cannot make a referral based on age, gender, race, or religion.
How do I know if I need legal help?
The best time to contact an attorney is before a legal dispute arises, not after. The attorney’s first duty is to make sure you are given the benefit of all of your legal rights in connection with your legal situation. Generally you will need an attorney when being sued or charged with a crime.
Consider hiring an attorney in these situations:
Bankruptcy – if you are considering filing bankruptcy or reorganization as an individual or a business.
Business - if you are considering starting a business or if you own a business.
Collection - if you are unable to collect a debt owed to you personally or to your business.
Consumer Law - if you are dissatisfied with goods or services you have purchased.
Criminal Law - if you have been charged with criminal charges or have traffic tickets or a DWI/DUI.
Debtors Issues - if you have a dispute with a creditor, mortgage company, or collection agency, or are facing garnishment or have been sued by a creditor.
Elder Law – if you or a family member are a senior citizen and have issues involving Estate Planning, Medicare, or Medicaid.
Employment/Labor - if you have a dispute with your employer or have been terminated.
Family Law - if you are considering getting divorced or separating, or if you are dissatisfied with child support, child custody, or maintenance.
Insurance - if you have a dispute with an insurance company.
Litigation - if you have a lawsuit filed against you or wish to file a lawsuit against someone another person or a company.
Real Estate - If you are buying or renting real estate, or have a dispute over rent or housing conditions.
School/Education - if you or your child has a dispute with a school, from preschool through graduate school.
Wills, Trusts, and Estates - if you do not have a will prepared and have children and/or own land or a business; if you need estate planning, a power of attorney and/or guardianship; if someone in your family has passed away recently, and if you have a dispute over an estate.
Workers’ Compensation - if you have been injured on the job.