Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Attorney Referral Service?

The Attorney Referral Service (ARS) is a public service program of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association (SFVBA), serving the Community since 1926. The ARS is certified by the State Bar of California (#0006) in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties and meets American Bar Association (ABA) standards for lawyer referral services.

Why Should I Consult With An Attorney?

If you are facing a legal issue it is always best to act immediately and consult with an attorney before you take actions on your own. There are usually different strategies for your specific legal problem that attorneys can suggest to you. An experienced and compatible attorney will ease the stress and anxiety you naturally feel by informing you, supporting you, and working with you to resolve your legal matter.

Why Should I Use The Attorney Referral Service?

ARS attorneys average 25 years of experience and must meet experience qualifications (varies depending on area of law); must be in good standing with the State Bar; and are required to carry professional liability insurance. According to our ongoing surveys, 97% of clients are satisfied with our service.

How Do I Request A Referral To An Attorney?

To be referred to an attorney, you can complete the Online Referral Form or call (818) 340-4LAW (4520) to speak to an ARS Referral Consultant. The ARS’ office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Thursday, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday.

What Type of Lawyer Do I Need?

If you need help determining what type of lawyer you need go to the Areas of Law page, to help you out.

Where Are ARS Attorneys Located?

The ARS can refer you to attorneys with offices in the greater San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, Simi Valley and Eastern Ventura County.

What If I Need A Referral To An Attorney Outside Of Los Angeles Or Ventura Counties?

Visit the American Bar Association Lawyer Referral Directory of state and local bar associations. Look for the “ABA Approved” logo!

Is There A Cost To Be Referred To An Attorney?

You pay an administrative fee of $30 to be referred to an attorney for a free half-hour consultation; however, there is NO consultation fee for personal injury, workers’ compensation, business incorporation, social security, social security disability and criminal matters.

How Do I Pay The Consultation Fee?

You can pay the $30 fee by credit card or by check prior to obtaining the referral.

Do I Contact The Attorney To Schedule A Consultation?

The ARS Referral Consultant will schedule an appointment with the attorney at a mutually-convenient date and time.

How Do I Prepare For The Initial Consultation?

To get the most benefit out of your half-hour consultation with the attorney, be organized ? bring copies of documents and information pertaining to your case, be prepared to clearly explain the nature of your case, and write down important questions you have of the attorney before the meeting date.

Use the initial consultation to make a decision about establishing an attorney-client relationship. You are considering hiring the attorney, and the attorney is evaluating you as a potential client. The attorney will consider many aspects, including your ability and willingness to listen to their advice. Plan to go to the first consultation with an open mind and take the time to think about the options, process and legal fees.

What Fees Does The Attorney Charge?

The first half-hour consultation with the attorney is free. If you hire the attorney, you and the attorney agree on the fees to be charged.

What If I Can Not Afford An Attorney?

Persons of modest means who have a legal problem in certain areas of law may request a referral to a reduced fee attorney. In the case of a reduced fee referral request, there is a modest initial consultation fee.

Persons who cannot afford a lawyer on a reduced fee may contact a legal aid office or public agency. For information on other legal services, visit theCONSUMER INFORMATION page on this website.

What Is Limited Scope Representation?

Limited Scope Representation (sometimes called unbundling) means that you and your attorney agree that you will perform some of the tasks associated with your family law case and the attorney will perform others. The Attorney Referral Service has created a program that gives individuals the ability to use the services of a family law attorney while still limiting legal fees. Download our pamphlet for more information.

Does The ARS Have A Program For Senior Citizens?

The Attorney Referral Service sponsors a legal services program for senior citizens 60 years of age and older. Volunteer attorneys staff the Program at different senior citizen centers throughout the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys. Visit the SENIOR CITIZENS LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAM page on this website or call (818) 227-0490, ext. 100 to our Program Consultant.

Does The Attorney Referral Service Have A Speaker Bureau?

The Attorney Referral Service offers a free Speaker Bureau to businesses, civic organizations, service clubs, professional organizations and schools. Volunteer attorneys make presentations about areas of law, the justice system and the courts. To request a speaker, complete the Speaker Request Form on this website.

Can The Attorney Referral Service Help Me Hire A Mediator?

The San Fernando Valley Bar Association has an online Mediator Directory to help attorneys, their clients and the general public find qualified mediators. To find a mediator, visit our MEDIATOR DIRECTORY on this website.

Can The Attorney Referral Service Help Me Resolve A Fee Dispute With My Attorney?

The San Fernando Valley Bar Association has a Fee Arbitration Program to resolve fee disputes between attorneys and clients. For forms and information, visit the MANDATORY FEE ARBITRATION PROGRAM page on this website.

How Do I Contact The Attorney Referral Service?

Call (818) 340-4LAW or e-mail [email protected].