Excellent Customer Service Key to Award Winning Lawyer Referral Service

Emmy Pasternak, LRIS Outreach Coordinator and Case Development Manager

LRIS intake staff

LRIS intake staff

The legal interviewers of BASF’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) are a team of professional, compassionate, highly educated individuals. Far more than an “appointment scheduling service” or “legal hotline,” the services provided run the gamut from resource guide to case assessor to a sounding board for clients.

As a neutral third party, LRIS legal interviewers provide a compassionate ear for the client and an honest, brief case summary to the LRIS member attorneys.

In English, Spanish, Farsi, French, Italian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and Tagalog, the interviewers assist the public through telephone, email, and live chat requests that come not only from the Bay Area, but from across the globe.

The legal interviewers conduct initial case analysis for every potential client’s legal matter and assess what avenue is most appropriate for the matter at hand. They are a vital conduit between those seeking legal information and the multitude of legal, social service, and governmental agencies throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Working from a list of more than 250 resources, the interviewers provide relevant and timely information to clients who are often unfamiliar with, and intimidated by, the legal system.

Screening for and referral to the pro bono service programs, including BASF’s Justice & Diversity Center, often start with an intake through the LRIS. Juggling calls from clients and attorneys, calendaring attorneys for special public service programs, such as Call-A-Lawyer Night through KALW’s “Your Legal Rights” program, (interviewers don’t actually do this activity), directing attorneys to staff when there are questions about membership and fees; all of these tasks are handled by the consummate professionals on the other end of the phone line.

Throughout the year, LRIS panelists provide training and informational sessions for the legal interviewers so they have the best information to evaluate clients’ needs and make appropriate referrals. In May, the legal interviewers participated in their yearly afternoon retreat where operating procedures, role playing exercises, and brainstorming of ways to improve the program were all part of the agenda.

LRIS and its team of legal interviewers are trusted, trained professionals, committed to serving the needs of the public by providing the highest quality customer service to the clients and to attorney members.

If you are an attorney who encounters a client with a legal need outside your practice area, you can trust LRIS to quickly assist with finding the most appropriate referral.

For information on how to join the Lawyer Referral and Information Service, please visit our website http://www.sfbar.org/lawyerreferrals/att.aspx. Read more about our program, download panel applications, and view attorney testimonials.  You may also contact the LRIS Membership Coordinator, Yvonne Ng, at (415) 782-8951 or yng@sfbar.org for direct service.

The LRIS is a revenue generating program, the proceeds of which help to support BASF’s charitable programs.