Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS)?

Since 1952, the SDCBA's Lawyer Referral and Information Service has been San Diego County's largest, most active, and most trusted lawyer referral service. All public inquiries are carefully screened and referred on a rotating basis, to approved attorneys. If a referral to an attorney is not appropriate, the caller will be referred to a legal or social service agency for assistance.

What about clients looking for pro bono attorneys?

The LRIS phone message and the LRIS Counselor will tell the caller that the attorneys on the service are not free or reduced rate attorneys.  The exceptions are the attorneys who participate in the Flat-Fee program (fixed rate, limited to qualified clients with matters related to Personal/Chapter 7 Bankruptcy,  Incorporation and LLC Formation, Revocable Trust and Last Will and Estate Plan, Family Law, and Tenant Consultations) and family law attorneys who participate in the Modest Means Program ($75 hourly rate, limited to qualified clients with specific family law disputes, limited financial resources, and are ineligible for legal aid).  The only pro-bono lawyers are those handling cases through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

How does a client get my name and contact information?

LRIS callers are told that they can receive the names of up to three San Diego attorneys per legal issue and that we do not give out lists of attorneys for them to call. Clients for the Modest Means Program are offered the names of up to two attorneys.

If I can’t help the client, can I refer him/her to non-LRIS attorneys?

If you cannot help a client that is referred to you by LRIS, you are obligated to refer the client back to LRIS. It not only helps other panel members, but also protects you from negligent referrals. Please note that referring callers to other attorneys is a violation of the SDCBA's Local Rules of Operation for Lawyer Referral & Information Service.

What is the percentage fee for referrals?

Panel attorneys remit fifteen (15) percent on all legal fees received from an LRIS-referred case, except Modest Means and Servicemembers Civil Relief Act cases.

Do you conduct client surveys?

Every client that is referred is sent a client satisfaction survey. This is done to ensure that LRIS is providing a valued service to the public, and is required by the State Bar of California.

Can you accommodate a temporary suspension for holidays, vacation, or when I’m busy?

Yes.  Please make sure to inform LRIS if you will be out of the office or unable to receive referrals. We will put a temporary hold on your LRIS panel records.

How do I know if you have referred me to a potential client?

LRIS will email you an attorney confirmation every time a referral is made to your office, provided we have your current email address.

Can I electronically submit my required case disposition reports?

Yes, the LRIS will email all referrals and reports to your office. Please make sure we have your current email address. Click here for a training guide.

Can I provide you with a San Diego P.O. Box address?

All attorneys must provide LRIS with a physical street address where client meetings are held.  If you do not have a permanent office location, then you must provide LRIS with a meeting or a satellite office address.

What if I receive a call about a Modest Means referral?

If a client calls you regarding the Modest Means program and you are not on the Modest Means panel, please be sure to refer him/her back to LRIS. Many clients are aware of the program but do not realize that this program is only for family law and that there is a screening process for receiving and providing these services.

Can I list a specialty in my panel?
If you are on a panel and have an area of specialty, please let us know so we can put this information in your panel notes. This helps us when referring callers. For example, if you are on the family law panel and handle QUADROs, let us know.