Special Committee on Lawyer Referral

Mary Benzinger, chair

The Virginia Lawyer Referral Service (VLRS) has provided effective and high-quality legal assistance to the citizens of Virginia, the United States, and abroad since 1977. The VLRS – a public service arm of the bar – offers toll-free and Richmond-area phone numbers that receive more than 22,000 calls yearly from persons in need of legal assistance with matters in Virginia. Through professional customer service, the VLRS strives to promote the image of the legal profession.

The VLRS continues in that effort by providing more than 7,100 prescreened and prepaid referrals to its 645 panel members the 2008-09 fiscal year. Over fifty percent of those referrals have resulted in ongoing legal services to our panel members.

To recruit panel members for the VLRS, committee members and VLRS staff attend the Virginia State Bar Admission and Orientation Ceremony, the VSB Annual Meeting, and the Solo and Small-Firm Practitioner Forums sponsored by the Conference of Local Bar Associations. The VLRS values its long-standing panel members for their service and dedication and welcomes the 139 newest panel members who joined this fiscal year.

In an attempt to increase the awareness of VLRS services for prospective clients and panel members, the VLRS committee has established a subcommittee for the “re-branding” of VLRS by creating a new design and marketing strategy. Committee members August Bequai, Joan B. Davis, Robert L. Flax, Pamela C. Gavin, and John V. Robinson will focus the design and marketing concepts to increase the awareness of VLRS services among private citizens and small businesses that need legal services in Virginia. The campaign also targets VSB members who are unaware of or uninformed about services VLRS can offer.

Special thanks to the VLRS 2008-09 committee members: Charles E. Adams, August Bequai, Joan B. Davis, Robert L. Flax, Pamela C. Gavin, Vice Chair Christine H. Mougin-Boal, Rhodes B. Ritenour, John V. Robinson, Carol J. Schrier-Polak, and Eric R. Spencer. Thanks also to the VLRS staff: Coordinator Toni B. Dunson and Staff Assistants Sheree L. Patterson and Lydia M. Maddox for their tireless efforts to sustain and improve the VLRS.  We welcome our newest committee member, Elizabeth M. Ross of Leesburg.

Updated: Sep 03, 2009