Special Committee on Lawyer Referral

Robert L. Flax, chair

The Virginia Lawyer Referral Service (VLRS) has helped citizens of Virginia, the United States, and abroad obtain effective and high-quality legal assistance since 1977. The VLRS — a public service arm of the Virginia State Bar (VSB) — offers toll-free and Richmond-area phone numbers that receive more than 20,000 calls yearly from persons in need of assistance with legal matters in Virginia. The VLRS provided more than 5,500 prescreened and prepaid referrals to its 600 panel members for the 2012-13 fiscal year. Over 60 percent of those referrals have resulted in ongoing legal services, provided by our panel members.

The VLRS has successfully completed its three-year partnership with the VSB Military Law Section Pro Bono Project by making available its toll-free number and staff in providing 147 referrals to Virginia military members and military dependents to the seventeen volunteer attorneys listed with the VSB Military Law Section. The VLRS Committee has also been presented for its review and consideration other joint projects through the Virginia Bar Association and The D. H. Lawson Foundation to offer reduced-fee legal services to Virginia veterans and Virginia families with special needs children. 

The Special Committee on Lawyer Referral members and VLRS staff continued their panel membership recruitment efforts by providing VLRS panel membership applications and information to VSB members in attendance at the VSB Young Lawyers Conferences Admission & Orientation Ceremonies in October 2012 and June 2013, the VSB Conference of Local Bar Leaders Institute, Solo & Small-Firm Practitioners Forums (Smithfield, March 2013 and Staunton, May 2013), and the VSB 75th Annual Meeting in June 2013 that resulted in more than first-time VLRS panelist.

Special thanks to the VLRS 2012-13 committee members: Charles E. Adams of Richmond, August Bequai of McLean, Teresa S. Cole of Vienna, Joan B. Davis of Richmond, Judy A. Dugger of Fairfax, William F. Quillian of Lynchburg, Rhodes B. Ritenour of Richmond, Eric R. Spencer of Roanoke, and newly appointed Chair Pamela C. Gavin of Henrico and Vice Chair Elizabeth M. Ross of Leesburg for their continuing service and dedication. The committee gives special appreciation to exiting committee members Renae R. Patrick of Winchester; and immediate past Chair Robert L. Flax of Richmond for his many years of dedication to the committee and his continuing 26-plus years of service as a VLRS panel member.  We welcome our newest members, David A. McKelvey of Roanoke and Sarah M. Morton of Harrisonburg, and look forward to the ideas and energy they will bring to the committee. Thanks also to the VLRS staff: coordinator Toni B. Dunson and staff assistants Lydia M. Maddox and Sheree L. Patterson for their tireless efforts to sustain and improve the VLRS.

Updated: Aug 15, 2013