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 — offers toll-free and Richmond-area phone numbers that receive more than twenty thousand calls yearly from persons in need of assistance with legal matters in Virginia. The VLRS provided more than 2,800 prescreened and prepaid referrals to its six hundred panel members for the 2010-11 fiscal year. Over 50 percent of those referrals have resulted in ongoing legal services, provided by our panel members.

During the 2011 Lawyers Expo at the VSB Annual Meeting, the VLRS debuted its new logo, website, and tagline: “The Virginia Lawyer Referral Service: Connecting the public with lawyers for more than thirty years.”  These messages promote the referrals that the VLRS provides to its attorney panel members and to consumers — the general public, businesses, and other lawyers. Many thanks to the Special Committee on Lawyer Referral’s past chair Mary M. Benzinger for her leadership in originating this project, and to VSB Graphic Designer Madonna G. Dersch and the VSB Publication Department for their professional and creative services.

The VLRS toll-free number helps military personnel and disaster victims obtain volunteer legal services offered through, respectively the VSB Military Law Section and the Emergency Legal Response Plan of the VSB Young Lawyers Conference and Virginia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. The most recent disaster responded to by the Emergency Legal Services program was a series of tornadoes that affected several areas of Virginia in April 2011. The committee thanks those VSB member volunteers.

Special thanks to the VLRS 2010-11 committee members: Charles E. Adams of Richmond, August Bequai of McLean, Teresa S. Cole of Vienna, Joan B. Davis of Richmond, Vice Chair Pamela C. Gavin of Henrico, Christine H. Mougin-Boal of Leesburg, Renae R. Patrick of Winchester, Rhodes B. Ritenour of Richmond, John V. Robinson of Henrico, Elizabeth Ross of Leesburg, and Eric R. Spencer of Roanoke for their service and statewide attorney recruitment efforts that resulted in ninety-four first-time VLRS panelists. 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.

Updated: Aug 01, 2011