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Chicago Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service

This is Dial-Law on The Chicago Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service.

The Chicago Bar Association (CBA) Lawyer Referral Service provides referrals to to an experienced, private attorney in the Chicago area. The Lawyer Referral Service was established over 60 years ago by The Chicago Bar Association to help you find an attorney. Attorneys are available with foreign language skills. If you need an attorney, call the Lawyer Referral Service at 312-554-2001 or you can get an immediate referral on this website. The Service also operates a TDD for the hearing impaired. The TDD number is 312-554-2055.

When you call the Lawyer Referral Service, a staff interviewer will help you. The interviewer will ask questions about your matter for the purpose of referring you to an attorney who handles that type of matter.

The lawyer to whom you are referred may wish to talk to you in person to find out enough about your case to be able to advise you.

There is a $30 referral fee payable to The Chicago Bar Association which must be given to the attorney to whom you are referred to at the time of the initial consultation. At this initial consultation, you will discuss your legal matter with the attorney, the attorney's fees for handling it and other costs involved. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO HIRE THE REFERRED ATTORNEY. If you do, you must make your own arrangements with the lawyer regarding fees for services. Make sure you understand the fee agreement.

Most of us at one time or another will need a lawyer for one of the following reasons:

  • to buy or sell real estate
  • to adopt a child
  • to draw up a will
  • to start or sell a business
  • to form a partnership
  • to file a petition for dissolution of a marriage (divorce)
  • to defend against such an action.

Many times you can avoid legal trouble by consulting a lawyer BEFORE you act. A lawyer's help is needed in many matters that are handled outside a courtroom.


How Should You Prepare For Your First Visit To An Attorney?

  • Bring with you all pertinent papers or documents regarding your legal matter.
  • Be ready to tell the attorney ALL the facts you know (favorable or unfavorable) about the problem. Your information will be kept confidential.
  • Be prepared to ask questions regarding how your matter will be handled, how long it will take and any alternative measures which may be taken.
  • The Chicago Bar Association has a number of additional special legal service programs that are operated through the Lawyer Referral Service.

    The Lawyer Referral Service assigns lawyers, on a pre-scheduled basis, to Traffic Court, Criminal Court, and the various misdemeanor and felony branch courts in Cook County. This program is called the In-Court Lawyer Referral Service. Bar attorneys assigned by the In-Court Lawyer Referral Service will consult in the courthouse with defendants charged with traffic, misdemeanor or felony offenses for no fee. Thereafter, if the defendant wishes to retain the Bar attorney, he or she may do so but must make arrangements with the lawyer for fees for further services. For more information about the In-Court Lawyer Referral Service or, if you are appearing in court, ask the judge if there is a Chicago Bar Association attorney available in the court.

    The Chicago Bar Association also operates a Senior Citizens Will Program. This program is a public service sponsored by The Chicago Bar Association, the Suburban Cook County Area Agency on Aging, the Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation's Senior Citizens Legal Services Division, and the Illinois Department on Aging. It offers eligible senior citizens living in Suburban Cook County free legal consultation about the preparation of a will. Lawyers from the Lawyer Referral Service are assigned, on a pre-scheduled basis, to visit senior citizen centers in suburban Cook County to consult with senior citizens about drafting a will. A lawyer will advise you if you need a will and will answer your questions about wills. If you wish to hire the lawyer, you may make arrangements with the lawyer to prepare a will for you for a modest fee. For more information about the Senior Will Program, call your nearest senior citizen center or if you live in Cook County and need to hire a lawyer but do not know one, call the Lawyer Referral Service of The Chicago Bar Association at 312-554-2001 or you can get an immediate referral on this website. Attorneys are available with experience in many areas of the law. Bilingual attorneys are available. You need a lawyer but live outside Cook County, contact your local county bar association for assistance.