Virginia Lawyer Referral Service

Elizabeth M. Ross, Chair

The Virginia Lawyer Referral Service (VLRS) has helped people obtain effective and high-quality legal assistance since 1977. The VLRS offers toll-free and Richmond-area phone numbers that receive more than 16,000 calls yearly from people in need of assistance with legal matters in Virginia. The VLRS provided more than 4,800 prescreened and prepaid referrals to its 500 panel members for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. More than 60 percent of those referrals have resulted in ongoing legal services, provided by our panel members.

A special thanks to our committee members who participated in recruitment activities this year, which resulted in 60 first-time VLRS panelists.  Committee members Elizabeth Ross and Christopher Spinelli made personal LR panel membership recruitment appearances at the VSB Conference of Local Bar’s Solo & Small-Firm Practitioners Forum at George Mason University in March 2015 and James Madison University in June 2015. Committee member D. Adam McKelvey provided LR panel membership resources support (panel membership flyers &applications) thru the Salem-Roanoke Bar County Bar Association. Committee members Neil S. Lowenstein and Sarah Morton lent their expertise in organizing a future VLRS sponsored CLE.  VLRS Staff attended VSB Young Lawyers Conference (YLC) Admission and Orientation Ceremonies in December 2014 and June 2015. Other promotional endeavors included distributing over 3,000 informational ‘Take-One’ cards to the thirty-one Virginia judicial circuits Juvenile & Domestic Relations Courts, General District Courts and Circuit Courts; Virginia State Agencies and statewide Mediation Services. 

The VLRS committee experienced some significant changes over the past couple of years as we launched into the digital age. We reduced advertising expenses 15% by eliminating print directory advertising and exploring other current cost effective methods of consumer advertising via the internet, i.e. “Pay-Per Click“ and social media. We also researched developing a CLE webinar to promote VLRS panel membership, and to educate and target potential VLRS panel members on the underserved and most requested areas of law by VLRS callers statewide.

Another change, is that we voted to supplement VLRS yearly revenues by increasing the panel membership dues from $75.00 to $95.00. The last dues increase was in 2007, and our dues remain the lowest referral panel membership fee in the state.   

Committee Members

Elizabeth M. Ross, chair; Judy A. Dugger, vice-chair; Charles E. Adams, Teresa S. Cole, Rachel E. Jones, Neil S. Lowenstein,  D. Adam McKelvey,  Sarah M. Morton, D. David Parr, Jr.,  William F. Quillian, III, Eric R. Spencer, and Christopher L. Spinelli. 

Updated: Aug 03, 2015