Joining the New York City Bar Legal Referral Service

Lawyers needed! We will waive your membership fee for the first 12 months if you apply for one or more areas of high need and, if approved, agree to provide services in those areas for at least 12 months. While we welcome applications in all areas of law at all times, there are certain areas of law – not necessarily related to the pandemic – for which we are actively recruiting in order to ensure that we are able to meet the current and future needs of the public. *Our areas of high need are:

• Attorney Discipline• Mental Hospital Release Hearings
• Business Licenses• Moving Violations
• City Agencies• Name Changes
• Civil Service Workers Representation• Private Pension Matters
• Consumer Fraud• Professional Discipline
• Credit• Social Security Disability & SSI
• Education• State Agencies
• ERISA• State/Municipal Disability Pensions
• Federal Agencies• Tax
• Gun Permits• Taxi & Limousine Commission
• Immigration• Traffic
• Insurance (especially Health Insurance)• Unemployment Insurance
• Lemon Law• Workers Compensation
• Liquor Licenses

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 free.

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 $490 plus $100 per Panel Category.
    • $100 discount for members of:
      • The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
      • Affinity Bar Association (Check with LRS Staff about the current list of associations eligible for this discount.)
    • 50% discount for new LRS members (During the first three (3) years of membership new Panel Members receive 50% off their total membership fees.)
  • Pay a percentage of the aggregate fees earned and collected.

How to Apply:

Scan your original application and email it to Have a question? Call us at 917-444-9025 during regular business hours.

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.  Scan and submit your completed application by emailing it to:


Have a question about becoming an LRS lawyer? Call us at 917-444-9025, 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.