Lawyer Referral Service Program Information for Lawyers

Join the Lawyer Referral Service and/or In-Court Program

Lawyers! Refer Clients to the Lawyer Referral Service

Does your client have a legal problem outside your area of expertise? No problem. Simply refer them to the CBA’s Lawyer Referral Service (LRS). Our lawyers have been screened and must meet specific practice requirements. LRS lawyers are engaged in private practice and charge regular rates (no pro bono referrals). You can refer clients with confidence because the CBA LRS:
  • Meets ABA standards for Lawyer Referral and Information Services
  • Screens lawyers for experience and malpractice insurance
  • Has lawyers located throughout Chicago and surrounding suburbs who practice in 40+ areas of law and speak several different foreign languages
  • Offers referrals by telephone (312-554-2001) and online at

Lawyers! Join the Lawyer Referral Service

Build your client base! If you would like to receive referrals and meet the requirements of the program, the CBA’s LRS can be a source of potential clients at a relatively low cost. Annual dues range from $75 - $300 for CBA members (rates are double for nonmembers). You collect a $30 fee for the CBA from each person referred that has an office consultation and pay 15% of fees collected on retained referred matters.

General Panel Qualifications

  • Handle general civil litigation (contract disputes, collections, property damage, etc.)
  • Admitted to practice for a minimum of one year and engaged in the substantial private practice of general areas of law.
  • Maintain an office outside your home with telephone access.
  • Maintain an adequate office calendar/support system for tracking cases.
  • Have reasonable courtroom experience.
  • Complete written application, maintain professional liability insurance, obtain approval of screening panel.
  • If approved, annual registration fee of $75 if in practice under 5 years; $100 if 5 years or more (rates are double for nonmembers).

 Special Experience Panels

  • In addition to General Panel qualifications above, must have at least 5 years' concentrated experience in area of law applying for. Annual registration fee of $150 or $200 (depending on panel) for up to 4 panels (rates are double for nonmembers).
  • Special experience panels include:
    Adoption Law; Aviation Law; Bankruptcy; Church Law; Civil Rights; Civil Service; Commodities; Computer Law; Corporate Law; Criminal Law; Criminal-Juvenile Law; Customs and International Trade Law; Domestic Relations; Entertainment Law; Environmental Law; Estate Planning and Trusts; Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA); Federal and State Tax; Franchise Law; Health and Hospital Law; Interstate Commerce; Immigration and Naturalization; Insurance Law; Labor Law; Legal Malpractice; Medical Malpractice; Mental Health; Military Law; Municipal Law, Patent, Copyright and Trademark; Pension Plans and Profit Sharing; Personal Injury; Real Estate; Real Estate Tax; Securities; Sexual Abuse; Social Security; Unemployment Compensation; and Workers' Compensation.

Limited Scope Referral Panels

  • The CBA also has three Limited Scope Referral Panels in addition to the General and Special Experience Panels above. The three panels cover the following areas of law: landlord-tenant, domestic relations, and debt collection/consumer. Panelists must offer a wide variety of “unbundled” legal services to join these panels, which primarily target modest means clients.
  • There is no annual registration fee to join these panels. Referrals are made at the courthouse and not through the LRS telephone and online systems.

Applications to Join the Lawyer Referral Service

To apply, please fill out the appropriate form below (Note: Not all areas of law have their own applications--those that don't should use the "Special Experience" application): For information on the In-Court and Juvenile Court Bar Attorney Programs, click here.

Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Proceedings

The Lawyer Referral Service has an ARDC panel of lawyers experienced in representing other lawyers in disciplinary proceedings before the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Lawyers needing a referral should call the Lawyer Referral Service at 312-554-2001 or the Director at 312-554-2071.