Why Become an LRS Lawyer?

By joining the New York City Bar Legal Referral Service (LRS), you –

  • Help serve the hundreds of people who call us every day seeking legal advice and representation on novel and interesting legal issues.
  • Receive referrals that are carefully screened by our experienced attorney referral counselors.
  • Grow your business and expand your client base by tapping into a new source of potential clients.

In operation since 1946, the LRS is a non-profit program that provides referrals in almost all areas of law to LRS lawyers practicing in the New York metropolitan area. Lawyers agree to provide LRS-referred potential clients with an initial consultation of up to 30 minutes for a maximum fee of $35 or free, depending on the type of case.

Joining the New York City Bar Legal Referral Service

Things to Consider Before Applying:

  • You will have to submit a completed LRS Application for Panel Membership to the LRS.
  • You must be interviewed and approved for LRS membership – see below.
  • You must have a professional liability insurance policy in the minimum amount required for the experience level for which you are approved.
  • You must practice and maintain an office in the New York City metropolitan area.
  • You must be able to designate an administrative back-up contact.
  • You will need to have a partner sign a statement of acknowledgement form, if applicable.

LRS Membership is Open to Lawyers Who:

  • Are in good standing before the Bar of the State of New York.
  • Have been practicing law for more than two years.
  • Agree to be bound by the rules of the New York City Bar Legal Referral Service.

Costs of Joining:

  • Pay an annual base listing fee of $390 plus $75, if listed for only one Panel Category, or $60 per Panel Category, if listed for more than one Panel Category. $100 discounts for —
    • New York City Bar and New York County Lawyers’ Association members (as well as a few other associations listed in the rules) and,
    • Being in practice for less than 8 years.
  • Forward the $35 initial consultation fee to the LRS, unless the fee is prohibited by law or waived by the LRS.
  • Pay a percentage of the aggregate fees earned and collected.

The Interview

You will be required to submit to a personal interview to further review your eligibility and qualifications for LRS membership, and provide an opportunity for you to ask any additional questions you may have about the LRS. The interview is conducted by Legal Referral Service Committee members, panel members and LRS staff. The interview usually takes place at the New York City Bar after we have reviewed your complete application. In cases where an application is deemed inadequate or deficient, the application may be denied without an interview.

Approval Process

After the interview, the interviewers will determine if you are eligible and able to be approved for membership and, if so, further determine for which panel(s) you may register. Once you have been approved, you will receive an activation packet from the LRS Billing Department. After we have received and reviewed all activation packet forms and third-party responses and documents (e.g., the Departmental Disciplinary Committee), and processed your payment we will place you in active rotation to receive referrals.

How to Apply

  1. Read the Qualification Standards and determine the area(s) of law for which you would like to apply.
  2. Read the Rules for Panel Membership
  3. Read the Application instructions, download and fill out the application completely.
  4.  Submit your completed application one of two ways:

    Mail the unbound original to us at the following address:

    Attention: Deputy Director
    New York City Bar Legal Referral Service
    42 West 44th Street
    New York, NY 10036

    Or email the scanned original to the following address: LRSBilling@nycbar.org

Have a question about becoming an LRS lawyer? Call the Deputy Director at 212-382-6691, Mon-Fri 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM.

Join the New York City Bar Association

The New York City Bar Association provides a vibrant community within a community, and in a changing professional environment, the City Bar is one constant that will be with you, providing support and service throughout your career.  Join a diverse network of over 24,000 colleagues – in private practice, public service, the judiciary, government, academia, in-house, and law school – and expand your personal and professional horizon.

This extraordinary Association has served the legal profession and the community for over 125 years.  By becoming a member you will help to shape the future of the profession as a critical link in one of its most influential organizations. When you join, you begin immediately to support and benefit from, the work of the 160 committees that form the backbone of City Bar activity and advocacy – committees that frame public debate on pressing legal issues and influence local and national public policy.

Join today and begin to take advantage of our member benefits. We look forward to welcoming you to membership and the opportunity to support you and your practice.