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Lawyer Referral Service FAQs
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Do I always need a lawyer?

Maybe not. First, you may want to explore alternative courses of action before hiring a lawyer. Many government agencies can resolve problems for you. The tricky part is finding the appropriate agency or organization. This guide is a good starting point. It may be worth a couple of phone calls to avoid messy legal situations.

When should I hire a lawyer?

The best time to go to your lawyer is before you are in legal difficulty. You may save money and trouble if you consult with a lawyer before you sign papers or take such action which might alter your legal position. If it concerns an incident or condition which has already occurred, go to your lawyer as soon as possible if you have any questions. Some matters have strict time limits in which legal action must be taken or they are lost. Other times you might hire a lawyer include:

  • You are arrested or charged with a crime
  • You are about to enter into a verbal or written contract which has major financial consequences or involves unusual legal questions
  • You are involved in an accident involving injury to persons or damage to property
  • You are seeking to collect money owed to you, or someone else is seeking to collect from you and you do not believe you owe or there is some question about whether you owe
  • You need an opinion as to the title to real estate
  • You have a taxation problem concerning a substantial amount
  • You are buying or selling real estate
  • You want to plan your estate and make a will or set up a trust
  • You are organizing or dissolving a business
  • You are involved in the settlement of an estate
  • You desire to make or terminate a lease
  • You are involved in a family situation such as adoption, divorce, etc.
  • You are served with legal papers
  • You are not sure as to your legal position on any given matter

How do I go about finding and hiring a lawyer?

There are any number of ways to select a lawyer: word of mouth, phone book advertisements, community reputations, and referral services. Some agencies, such as the Legal Aid Society, provide free legal services for those who cannot afford it. Check your local phone directories. Above all, keep in mind the type of lawyer you want, how serious and important the matter is to you, and how much time, money, and energy you are willing to spend on a lawyer to protect or defend your rights.

What services are available to the public?

There are any number of ways to select a lawyer: word of mouth, phone book advertisements, community reputations, and referral services. Some agencies, such as the Legal Aid Society, provide free legal services for those who cannot afford it. Check your local phone directories. Above all, keep in mind the type of lawyer you want, how serious and important the matter is to you, and how much time, money, and energy you are willing to spend on a lawyer to protect or defend your rights.

  • Search our member database
  • KBA Lawyer Referral Service: (800) 928-3111
  • Kansas Legal Services: (800) 723-6953 (including the Legal Aid Society)
  • Kansas Legal Services Lawyer Advice Line: (800) 928-3111
  • Kansas Elder Law Hotline (888) 353-5337
  • Need a lawyer in a different part of the country? Find a Lawyer Referral program in that geographic area through the ABA National Directory

How will I be charged and what kind of fee arrangements are available?

Lawyers charge in one of three ways:

  • On a flat fee basis
  • On an hourly basis
  • On a contingent fee basis

It is best for lawyers to put their fee and legal service arrangements in writing (usually called retainer agreements) so that both of you understand what is expected from each other. A flat fee basis is just that; an attorney may agree to handle your situation for a set amount of money, period. If it is on an hourly basis, the lawyer may ask for a retainer (a fee to hire the lawyer's services) from which the lawyer will draw the previously agreed-upon hourly rate. An advanced fee arrangement is one in which you pay the lawyer a set sum as immediate compensation. For instance, you may pay your lawyer $500 up front just to investigate thoroughly a complicated case. Based on what the lawyers finds, you may or may not decide to proceed with your case. A contingent fee arrangement is one in which the lawyer's fee is paid only if there is some financial recovery. This is usually a percentage of the total recovery and is common practice in personal injury and damage cases.

How to hold down legal costs

A few suggestions to help reduce the cost of legal services are:

 

Before meeting with your lawyer, collect all letters, documents and information you think might be helpful, and bring them with you to the initial consultation.When talking to your lawyer, try to present an overall view of your position. Share all of your information, even if it is not in your favor.Avoid frequent telephone calls or visits to find out how things are going, as you will likely be charged for each. You may be able to avoid such expenses by agreeing with your lawyer initially that your lawyer will keep you advised of progress.

What if I question my lawyer's professional conduct?

It is important to ask your lawyer any question you might have, either about your legal situation or your lawyer's representation. Lawyers are held to a high standard of ethics as outlined in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. If you question your lawyer's conduct, you may discuss your concern with your lawyer (there may be a simple explanation; most client complaints come from inadequate communication with their lawyer), or you may contact the Office of the Disciplinary Administrator at 701 Jackson St, 1st Floor, Topeka, KS 66603-3729, (785) 296-2486. This agency is responsible for investigating misconduct by any lawyer licensed to practice in Kansas.

What is the Lawyer Referral Service?

The Kansas Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service (KBA LRS) is a public service designed to assist people with legal problems, in finding the right attorney. When appropriate we can refer you to a lawyer who is familiar with your type of legal situation. Legal problems are often confusing and finding the right lawyer can be even more confusing.

How does the Lawyer Referral Service work?

If you have a legal problem and would like to locate an attorney, contact the Lawyer Referral Service at (800) 928-3111 outside of Wichita or (316) 265-1247 in Wichita. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You will be asked a few questions to determine the nature of your problem. Any information that you divulge will be held in the strictest confidence. If it is determined that you would benefit from legal services, provided by an attorney or other service staff will refer you to the appropriate agency or person.

What should I bring to my first appointment?

Be sure to bring with you any documents, letters, or reports related to your situation. It may be helpful to write out the facts of your case in chronological order and bring that with you as well. Also write down your questions ahead of time and be prepared to provide names and addresses of all parties involved. These steps may save on the lawyer's time (and thus cut down on legal fees). Please note that all communications within the attorney-client relationship are confidential – even if you decide not to hire the lawyer after all.

If you have a legal issue involving:

  • Adoption
  • Automobile Accidents
  • Bankruptcy or Credit Problems
  • Buying or Selling Property
  • Civil Rights
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law
  • Child Custody or Visitation Rights
  • Discrimination
  • Divorce
  • Employer/Employee Conflicts
  • Insurance
  • Landlord/Tenant Rights Leases
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Personal Injury
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Social Security Benefits
  • Tax Disputes
  • Traffic Violations
  • Unemployment Compensation
  • Veterans Benefits
  • Wills and Estates
  • Worker's Compensation
  • Zoning

Call the Lawyer Referral Service at 1-800-928-3111

If you are a lawyer interested in joining the Lawyer Referral Service click here.

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