February 14, 2017: Finding A Lawyer Made Easier For New Yorkers With New York State Bar Association’s Online Site

By Communications Department

February 14, 2017

February 14, 2017: Finding A Lawyer Made Easier For New Yorkers With New York State Bar Association’s Online Site


By Communications Department

Looking for a lawyer to handle a criminal matter, child custody issue, write your will, help with a landlord-tenant problem or other legal issues?

New Yorkers now have a new, convenient way to find a lawyer in their community who has the experience to handle their legal issue.

The New York State Bar Association’s trusted Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) has launched a new online portal for individuals seeking a lawyer. The confidential service is available 24 hours a day, at https://nysbalris.legal.io. If they prefer, they can continue to use the LRIS telephone service.

“Individuals often need lawyers in times of stress. Our Lawyer Referral and Information Service is a lower pressure way to get legal help. Individuals can have the confidence they will be matched with attorneys in good legal standing whose credentials have been reviewed by the New York State Bar Association,” said State Bar President Claire P. Gutekunst.

The New York State Bar Association developed the new online technology in partnership with Legal.io, a national provider of marketplace and referral management technology for the legal industry.

“We are proud to partner with one of the largest associations of lawyers in the world to redefine how lawyers can scale the delivery of legal services to a greater number of people at a lower cost, and to create the trusted, go-to online destination for consumers and businesses seeking to rely on New York law, all around the world,” said Tony Lai, CEO of Legal.io.

Briefly, here’s how the online service works:

  • An individual seeking a lawyer goes to the website (https://nysbalris.legal.io) and fills out a confidential questionnaire describing their legal issue and location
  • The State Bar staff will review the questionnaire and match the individual with an attorney whose office is in the same or nearby community
  • If the individual lives in one of 17 counties with a locally run lawyer referral service, the State Bar will forward the request to the appropriate county bar association.
  • The referrals are free. If an individual talks to an attorney to whom they have been referred, there is a $35 fee for the first 30-minute consultation. However, exceptions are made if the matter involves personal injury, social security, medical malpractice, veterans and military law, unemployment or worker’s compensation.
  • After the initial consultation, the individual is under no obligation to retain the lawyer. If he or she does, additional attorney fees are determined by the client and the lawyer.

The New York State Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service has been matching individuals with attorneys for 35 years. In 2016, its trained staff handled more than 10,000 phone calls from the public. In addition to the new 24-hour online access, it can be reached at 1-800-342-3661 during regular business hours.

The carefully screened client referrals, coupled with the new online technology, also will help attorneys serve additional clients, said Elena Jaffe Tastensen, a Saratoga Springs attorney and chair of the Association’s Committee on Lawyer Referral.

“The Lawyer Referral and Information Service really helped me grow my practice,” she said. “Now that I have been in business for myself for more than 10 years, it’s still a great way to find new clients.”

The 72,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.


Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen

Director of Media Services & Public Affairs

[email protected]


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