Did you know that Last year, over 30,000 San Diegans found an attorney using the SDCBA’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS)? Or are you like me, and perhaps didn’t know much about LRIS until a colleague told you? Starting here and now, San Diego’s best kept secret is a secret no longer. For over 65 years, the Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) has been providing attorneys with quality client referrals. It is the mission of the service to render a public service by making referrals to qualified, insured and experienced attorneys and to provide information about the availability of legal services in the community. So, not only are we able to provide quality legal representation to the community at large, but we can also further our own careers as attorneys by contributing to the growth and success of this extremely vital program. I for one cannot tell you how much LRIS has meant to me and my career.
15 years ago, I was a brand-new attorney straight out of law school, and I didn't know much about finding clients, or anything really besides what we were taught in school. I was fortunate to find work at a couple of San Diego's finest law firms and along the way before starting my own practice in 2014. Along the way I was informed of the work of Director Michelle Chavez and the Lawyer Referral and Information Service. At first, I thought, is this something that a younger attorney could do? Was I even qualified enough to be considered? Why would an organization as big as the SDCBA want to refer me clients? I finally worked up the nerve, and experience, and I then went through the vetting process and was extremely honored to join multiple LRIS panels in the Trusts and Estates area of law. Now I will be honest, when I got started, some people told me that the referrals made by LRIS were not quality clients or people that I would want to represent. But I didn’t accept that as it didn’t make business sense on its face. And I found out that the people who told me that were simply wrong. I found that just like anything else, some calls are good, and some are not. But does anyone have a referral source that only gives qualified leads who are always ready to hire? I found that the clients that did hire us were good people who needed help and simply relied on the SDCBA for assistance. Why wouldn’t they? It's a rather simple concept and it makes absolute sense considering the community trusts the SDCBA based on its name and reputation in our community. The SDCBA, and specifically the LRIS of the SDCBA, are second to none when it comes to how we do business with our member attorneys and the local community. To uphold that trust, the SDCBA and LRIS takes the job of vetting its panel member attorneys very seriously. So, to become a panel member is such an honor, and I have considered it nothing less since being accepted.
Fast forward to 2014 and it was time for me to take the leap and open my own office. I soon realized that not only are the LRIS referrals extremely important, but they were the life blood of my young practice. When I first started on my own, I used to count my clients on one hand. Then the phone started to ring, and ring again, and then people told their friends, and we never looked back. I can’t tell you how many of those calls were referrals from LRIS. Soon my practice was thriving, and it has been nothing short of amazing since. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to the SDCBA and LRIS for the success we have had during our time as Sheinberg Law Group. 5 years later I am so humbled to be the Chairperson of the SDCBA’s LRIS Committee. Then this year I was named to the ABA Standing Committee for LRIS, which oversees each and every LRIS in America. It still doesn’t seem real. And to think this all came from filling out an application 10 years ago in my first office as a new attorney. It truly blows my mind. My practice would not be where it is today without my membership in LRIS. That’s an absolute fact.
So, what does LRIS mean to me? It means everything. It means that I can help people who need help on a daily basis. It means I can do what I love most in this world and make a good living doing it. I get to work with the amazing people at the SDCBA, Michelle Chavez and her incredible team, and now the ABA. It’s a dream. I encourage everyone who’s not a part of LRIS to get involved. Our community needs you and you will never regret it.