News and Information
April 30, 2021

Virginia Lawyer Referral Increases Revenues for Lawyers While Helping Virginians

With a staff of just three, the Virginia Lawyer Referral Service (VLRS) answered over 8,700 calls and online requests for legal services in the last six months of 2020. Of these, the staff collected 2,281 paid referrals, while referring other callers to alternative options for their potential legal problems.

But the big story is this: lawyers who belong to the referral service (called panel members once they join the VLRS) paid back almost $20,000 to the VSB in remittance fees in that period, meaning that they earned over $130,000 in six months simply by being members of the VLRS.

Currently, the VLRS has only 205 panel members across the Commonwealth. Beginning on July 1, 2020, panel members were required to remit 15% of any fees they were paid over $500 back to the VSB as a means of defraying the costs of maintaining the service, which assists people with finding a lawyer and up to a 30-minute consultation for a $35 fee. The VLRS keeps the $35 fee and refers vetted clients to panel members in the appropriate region and practice area.

In March of this year, the VLRS revenue was up $18,000 over last year, and the service, which was founded in 1978, continues to be a win-win for Virginians and Virginia lawyers.

Virginians who are not comfortable trying to contact a lawyer are helped by the VLRS service, and lawyers who work with the VLRS can build their practices while also giving back to some clients who may be referred to as low bono – financially beyond the pro bono requirements, but not adept at finding and hiring a lawyer without assistance from the Bar.

If you are interested in learning more about being a part of the VLRS, please contact Toni Dunson at dunson@vsb.org, or visit the VLRS lawyer webpage: http://bit.ly/vlrslawyer.

Updated: May 03, 2021