Frequently Asked Questions
01 How does the service work?
We do not answer legal questions or give legal advice. Through the ACBA Lawyer Referral Service in Pittsburgh, we are able to refer out one attorney practicing in the particular field you need. The referral entitles you to a free, 30-minute consultation. Anything above and beyond that is then between you and the attorney and at his/her normal rate. It will be your responsibility to contact the attorney. If you do not make the initial contact, at their discretion, the attorney may contact you as well.
02 How is the ACBA Lawyer Referral Service different from other lawyer directories?
The ACBA Lawyer Referral Service is not simply a lawyer directory. The service includes the initial consultation with the attorney. Many attorneys charge their normal hourly rates for a consultation which can be upwards of $200 an hour. In addition to this, our attorneys are thoroughly screened prior to being referred out. We ensure that they are members of the bar in good standing, have no disciplinary actions taken against them and carry liability insurance. We also refer out the attorneys based on the fields that they practice in on a regular basis. For certain fields of practice, we require them to list specific case work and regular attendance at continuing legal education classes to ensure they are up to date in that particular area of law. A referral through the ACBA Lawyer Referral Service is more than just a name.
03 Is the attorney guaranteed to represent me?
We can not guarantee that any attorney we refer will be able to assist you. Just as we cannot require you to hire the attorney, we cannot require the attorney to assist you. Sometimes after speaking with a client the attorney determines that what the client wants to have done is much more involved than initially thought, or that it would not be cost effective to retain an attorney to handle a particular matter. In that event, the attorney would likely discuss with the client additional options other than retaining an attorney.
04 How much is the attorney going to charge?
Attorneys set their own fees. The Lawyer Referral Service does not set either minimum or maximum fees for the attorneys we refer. We do offer a Modest Means Program which does offer a set flat fee or hourly rate which has been pre-determined by our LRS Committee Members and is only offered in a limited number of cases.
05 Can I get a referral for someone else?
No. We can not provide third party referrals. We can only speak with the client or someone who holds a valid Power of Attorney for him/her.
06 I am outside Allegheny County. Will the attorney still be able to represent me?
Our Pittsburgh attorneys typically handle only Allegheny County matters. If you are a resident somewhere other than Allegheny County and have a case which has arisen in Allegheny County, we can certainly provide a referral for you. If your legal concern has arisen in another area, you will need to contact the bar association in that area.
07 I already have an attorney but he is slow to respond and doesn’t always answer my questions. Can I use this service to get a second opinion?
Once you have retained an attorney, no one else can communicate with you regarding the matter. If you no longer want the attorney to represent you, you will need to terminate the relationship with your attorney by sending him/her a certified letter. You should also request a copy of your file. Once you have received the card back from the Post Office indicating that the attorney has received the letter, you may attempt to find another attorney.
08 Do you handle complaints against attorneys?
We do not. Complaints against attorneys are handled by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Board. The Disciplinary Board's telephone number is 412-565-3173.