1. How do I find a lawyer using the DC Refers directory?
The lawyers in our directory have agreed to charge lower fees to help people with moderate incomes. We do not guarantee that the lawyers you contact will represent you. The directory is simply a list of lawyers that you may contact to seek representation.
2. After I find a lawyer I want to contact, what should I do next?
Contact the lawyer. If you find a lawyer who has experience in the area of law you need help with, you then call or email the lawyer to see if they will represent you. You must tell the lawyer that you learned about them through the “DC Refers” directory.
Set up a meeting or call. Some lawyers may offer a free meeting or phone call to learn about your case. Other lawyers may charge a fee for your first meeting. You should ask the lawyer if he or she charges fees for first meetings. The lawyer will ask questions to learn about your case. The lawyer also will want to see any documents about your case. The lawyer will ask about your income to see if you qualify for reduced fee services. You may need to show proof of your income, such as a pay stub.
Decide whether to hire this lawyer. The lawyer will decide if he or she can accept your case, and you will decide if you want to hire this lawyer. The lawyer you contact does not have to accept your case. The lawyer must decide if your case is right for them. And, you must decide if the lawyer is the right person to handle your case. You should use your own judgement in deciding to hire a particular lawyer. You can find more information about how to hire a lawyer on the D.C. Bar’s website ( https://www.dcbar.org/for-the-public/hiring-a-lawyer.cfm).
Sign a retainer agreement. If you decide to hire the lawyer, you and the lawyer must come to an agreement about what work the lawyer will do for you, and how much you will pay the lawyer. You and the lawyer may sign a contract, called a retainer, that explains what work the lawyer will do, and how much you will pay the lawyer. Any retainer signed is solely between you and the lawyer, and you are responsible for paying the lawyer for the work the lawyer does.
DC Refers does not receive any money for referrals to lawyers listed in the directory.
3. Who are the lawyers in the DC Refers directory?
Lawyers in our directory must:
- be members in good standing of the D.C. Bar or the appropriate Federal Bar,
- maintain malpractice insurance,
- have at least two years of relevant legal experience, and
- submit an online application that includes both professional and client references that are checked by DC Refers.
All lawyers participating in DC Refers are willing to represent individuals of modest means at reduced fee rates.
DC Refers screens all lawyers to ensure that they meet these criteria. However, we do not guarantee the outcome of any case or that you will find a lawyer who is a good match for your case.
DC Refers will check in from time to time with clients who use our service and with lawyers participating in the service. We will ask if clients are satisfied with the legal services they received.
4. Where can I locate the DC Refers directory?