GLAD can help you find an attorney in New England through our Lawyer Referral Service (LRS). We want to make sure you don’t have to face the challenges of the legal system alone.
LRS lawyers are knowledgeable and experienced, and they are sensitive to the needs of gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people, and people with HIV.
About GLAD’s Lawyer Referral Service
Who are the lawyers of GLAD’s Lawyer Referral Service (LRS)?
LRS attorneys are in private practice and are not on the staff of GLAD.
LRS attorneys are friendly to LGBT people and people living with HIV and they have indicated to GLAD the areas of legal practice in which they have experience.
LRS attorneys are licensed to practice and are in good standing with their state Bar Association.
I don’t have a lot of money. Do the LRS lawyers cost a lot?
GLAD does not maintain information about the rates of LRS member attorneys. All fee arrangements must be negotiated by you and the individual attorney, independent of GLAD. LRS member attorneys’ fees will not be higher because the client is referred by GLAD.
Occasionally, lawyers are willing to take cases on a contingency basis — this means they are paid out of any money that is awarded if you win your case. You may want to ask the lawyers if this arrangement is possible for them.
Some lawyers are willing to take an occasional case for free or pro bono. When you call GLAD Answers, feel free to ask about this possibility.
How can I get the most out of a referral?
Whenever possible, we give you three lawyers’ names. We suggest that you talk to them all and find the attorney with whom you are most comfortable. It is perfectly appropriate for you to interview attorneys and ask them about their experience, their work style, and their fee arrangements.
It is a good idea to prepare as much as you can before you talk to a lawyer. By writing out your story as clearly as possible and pulling together any documentation you have about your situation, you may be able to save time and money.
What should I tell the lawyer when I call?
Let them know that you got their name from GLAD. This does not obligate them to take your case, but they are part of our LRS because they want to help and they do want to know that the referral came from us.
Tell them about your situation and what you hope to see happen, so they can know how to be most helpful.
You can also mention to the attorney you choose to work with that GLAD staff attorneys are available to consult with lawyers working on LGBT or HIV-related cases. We want to be a resource for them, too.
What are some questions to ask the attorney during the initial meeting?
- How many years have you been in practice?
- What kind of background or experience do you have in this area? Are you familiar with the special strategies that are involved in LGBT/HIV cases?
- How many matters like mine have you handled in the past year or two? How did those cases turn out? How long did they take?
- Who else in your firm would work on my case? What experience do they have?
- What are the different strategies that might be available to resolve this issue? What are the pros and cons of each?
- Does my case have merit? What is the possibility of a successful outcome? What can I expect to win? What are the risks of failure? What is my potential liability if I lose?
- What will I be required to do in the course of pursuing this case? What other information will you need from me? What information about me may be at issue if I pursue this case?
- What is your fee structure and how often will I be billed? Do you work on a contingency basis? Do you have a sliding scale fee? What is your general estimate of how much this will cost me?
- How long do you expect this case to take?
- How will you keep me informed of any developments? Will you consult with me before making any major decisions about the case?
- Do you have any reservations about taking on my case?
What if the referrals don’t work out?
Lawyer referrals aren’t perfect. They may not work for various reasons. A particular lawyer’s work style or fees may not match what you are looking for; the lawyer may have a full caseload and be unable to take you on as a client; or you may work with a particular lawyer and be unhappy with his or her work.
If the referrals do not work out, call us back. We can try to provide you with names of other lawyers.
Unfortunately, GLAD’s LRS member list is not endless. If we are unable to help you find a good match, we will try to point you to other legal and non-legal resources.
If you wish to register a complaint about a lawyer you hired based on a referral from GLAD’s LRS, you may notify the LRS staff in writing by sending a letter to:
GLAD, Attn: Public Engagement and Information Manager
30 Winter Street, Suite 800
Boston, MA 02108
If you wish to register a complaint about a lawyer’s professional conduct, you may wish to contact your state Board of Bar Overseers.