Bar referral service will cover Miami-Dade County August 1, 2008 Regular News Bar referral service will cover Dade The Bar’s Lawyer Referral Service will soon add Miami-Dade County to its coverage area.The Bar’s LRS will begin making referrals in Miami-Dade County beginning October 1, which coincides with the publishing of the new phone books, according to Karen Kelly, director of the Bar’s public service programs.Kelly also invites Miami-Dade lawyers to join the Bar’s LRS. The service refers callers to an attorney in their county who practices the type of law requested.Under The Florida Bar’s Lawyer Referral Service, attorneys charge clients $25 for an initial 30-minute office consultation. Personal circumstances might qualify a client for a free half-hour session with one of a special panel of attorneys willing to handle cases on Low Fee, Elderly, Disability, and AIDS Law panels.More than 1,200 attorneys participate in the lawyer referral service program statewide. Florida Bar members in good standing who have an office in a county covered by the Bar referral service are eligible to join the service by completing an application and submitting a $125 membership fee. The attorney must also carry at least $100,000 in professional liability insurance.LRS clerks log a consumer’s name, telephone number, and brief description of their legal problems into a computerized referral system, which selects a panel member based on location and area of law. The clerk then provides the caller with the name, address, and telephone number of the panel member and advises the caller to contact the lawyer for an appointment.The LRS also employs bilingual clerks who answer approximately 50 calls per day from consumers who don’t speak English. Those callers are referred to a Spanish-speaking attorney in their area.Lawyers interested in joining the LRS can download a membership application here or they can contact Kelly via e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (800) 342-8060, ext. 5810. The Lawyer Referral Service is staffed at The Florida Bar headquarters in Tallahassee, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The service also has an online service at www.floridabar.org that is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Prospective clients may reach the service by calling (800) 342-8011 from anywhere in Florida.