How much will I have to pay?
Most certified LRSs charge a fee — about $40 to $75 — for a referral to a lawyer. This referral fee sometimes includes the initial consultation with the lawyer(s). Under the State Bar rules, the combined referral fee and the fee for the lawyer cannot cost more than it would if you found the lawyer yourself, without the help of an LRS.
An LRS may also be able to recommend a free or low cost legal service program in your area depending on the nature of your issue and your income. Such services include a modest means panel (lawyers charging reduced fees), a limited scope panel (lawyers offering help with a specific portion of case as opposed to the whole case), a flat fee panel (where the client is charged a set fee rather than an hourly fee for the service), sliding scale options, a payment schedule or a free referral for a 30-minute initial consultation.
Note that LRSs are not required to offer reduced rate panels or services for people of limited means across all referral panels. Be sure to ask which service(s) the LRS provides.
For more information on hiring a lawyer, read the free Finding the Right Lawyer legal guide.