After you've suffered a personal injury and you need to seek
compensation, approaching a lawyer can feel intimidating. How will
you know if you have the right one for your case, or if they'll
represent you after you provide them with the particulars of your
situation? Where do you even start looking for legal
This is one of the reasons why lawyer referral services exist
– they are a type of matchmaker, setting up clients with
lawyers to represent them. But, they are not law
firms, and there are both benefits and drawbacks to using
them, as opposed to approaching a law firm directly.
A law firm such as Lerners Personal Injury is a
business wherein lawyers represent clients in their fields of law.
They have their own intake for new clients, and they handle both
short- and long-term clients – a client relationship could
only last as long as a single personal injury claim, but the firm
can also continue to provide service to the client after the
initial consultation, depending on its specializations.
A referral service is, in many ways, a marketing platform for
lawyers. Some, such as JusticeNet and LawyerLocate, are independent organizations
that may or may not be run for profit. Many referrals are free,
although some, such as CanLaw, offer additional enhanced services for
an up-front fee. Others, such as the Law Society of Upper
Canada's Referral Service, are run by bar associations,
connecting clients with their members. Their primary clientele is
those who are not likely to contact a lawyer directly, either due
to discomfort or due to a lack of knowledge of who they should
As mentioned above, the interaction between a law firm and a
referral service is very similar to a matchmaking service. You
provide the referral service with your geographical details and
information about your case. The service will refer you to a lawyer
who handles cases like yours, and who will contact you after
receiving your information for a consultation. After the
consultation is done, both you and the lawyer decide whether to
proceed with the case – the initial consultation is not a
commitment to hire the lawyer who contacted you, nor is there any
guarantee or obligation that you will continue to use that
lawyer's services once your case is done.
Referral services can be useful if you are uncertain of where to
look for a lawyer, but they do have their drawbacks when compared
with contacting a law firm directly. With a referral service, you
may have the right to screen the lawyers the service connects you
to, but you do not get to choose them yourself – you only
know who you will be dealing with after they contact you.
Directly approaching a firm like Lerners, on the other
hand, allows you to research the firm's history and determine
if they are a match for you before making the
Another drawback to a referral service is that it is up to the
law firms they contact how many referral cases they take. Since
good law firms tend to have no shortage of clients, this means that
spots for referral cases may be limited in the law firm that can
best handle your personal injury claim. By contacting a firm such
as Lerners directly, you bypass this restriction, making it easier
to get higher quality representation.
Another issue that arises when dealing with referral services is
that the lawyers who might contact you do so based on the
information that the service provides to them. The services
themselves, however, do not necessarily have any lawyers on staff,
and may not know what questions to ask prior to making the
referral. This can leave important information about your case
missing, adversely impacting your ability to get the legal
representation you need (and in a worst-case scenario, wasting your
time talking to multiple lawyers because of missing information).
Talking to a lawyer at a firm such as Lerners, on the other hand,
allows the lawyer to get the information they need about your case
in the first meeting, properly facilitating your claim and
compensation. This is one of the reasons that Lerners provides free
initial consultations with one of our lawyers, either in our office
or where you are located – our lawyers know what information
they need and what questions to ask you to gain a full
understanding of your case.
Lawyer referral services are useful, and can be a godsend to
those who are too shy to contact a lawyer directly, or just
don't know where to look. But if you aren't shy, or you do
know what to look for in a law firm, you will find that there are
significant benefits in contacting your lawyer of choice
It's not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term "titanic" I certainly don't mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the future.
J.J. v. C.C., is an interesting case in which the court held that an automotive garage owes a duty to minor children to secure the vehicles on the premises by locking the cars and safely storing the car keys...
In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).