Under Rule 6.3(b) of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct , for Michigan lawyers to participate in a Lawyer Referral Service, the Lawyer Referral Service must:
Maintain a registration as a qualified service with the State Bar of Michigan;
Operate in the public interest for the purpose of referring prospective clients to lawyers; pro bono and public service legal programs; and government, consumer or other agencies that can best provide the assistance needed by clients, in light of their financial circumstances, spoken language, any disability, geographical convenience, and the nature and complexity of their problems;
Be open to all lawyers licensed and eligible to practice in this state who maintain an office within the geographical area served, and who:
- Meet reasonable and objective requirements of experience, as established by the service;
- Pay reasonable registration and membership fees not to exceed an amount established by the State Bar to encourage widespread lawyer participation; and
- Maintain a policy of errors and omissions insurance, or provide proof of financial responsibility, in an amount at least equal to the minimum established by the State Bar;
Ensure that the combined fees and expenses charged a prospective client by a qualified service and a lawyer to whom the client is referred not exceed the total charges the client would have incurred had no referral service been involved; and
Make no fee-generating referral to any lawyer who has an ownership interest in, or who operates or is employed by, the qualified service, or who is associated with a law firm that has an ownership interest in, or operates or is employed by, a qualified service.
- File with the State Bar of Michigan a written plan disclosing the name under which it operates; the name, address, and telephone number of its chief operating officer; and the plan terms, conditions of eligibility, schedule of benefits, subscription charges and agreements with counsel;
- Update its filings within 30 days of any material change ;
- In January of each year following its inception, file a statement representing that it continues to do business under the terms and conditions reflected in its filings as amended to date.
Note: These filing requirements do not apply to not-for-profit legal aid associations.
Plan administrators should use this form to inform SBM if a lawyer referral service is no longer in service in Michigan.
Questions about lawyer referral service registration? Contact Janna Sheppard.
The following lawyer referral programs have registered with the State Bar of Michigan as of May 1, 2021.
- Genesee County Bar Association LRIS
- Grand Rapids Bar Association - LRIS
- Macomb County Bar Association LRIS
- Metro-Detroit Lawyers
- National Crime Victim Bar Association Attorney Referral Service
- Oakland County Lawyer Referral Service
- Washtenaw County Bar Association Lawyer Referral & Information Service