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Bar Association of San Francisco Member Benefits: Publications

Behind the Scenes at the Lawyer Referral and Information Service

When you refer your clients, rest assured they are in good hands


The legal interviewer staff of the Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) is comprised of individuals with varied life and educational experiences. One bilingual interviewer balances her work schedule while earning her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley. A Tagalog speaking interviewer spent a month in the Philippines where she visited family and worked with NGOs to bring education to remote villagers. The supervisor of the legal interviewers is married, has a five year old daughter, and commutes from Pittsburg every day to lead this exceptional team.

This year, the legal interviewer staff will assist approximately 50,000 people by telephone and email in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and Tagalog to best serve the diverse population of the San Francisco Bay Area.

LRIS Intake Staff

All interviewers are highly knowledgeable and trained in initial case analysis. Through guided interviews, they listen closely and with compassion to sort out a potential client’s situation and determine the most appropriate referral for the client’s needs. The referrals include arranging appointments with experienced LRIS attorneys, directing people to free legal service programs and clinics, or connecting them to any of the over 250 different legal and community-based agencies in San Francisco that may be better suited to address their needs.

Ongoing training for the interviewers occurs throughout the year at monthly staff meetings and at lunchtime educational sessions led by LRIS panel attorneys. These sessions offer the legal interviewers a chance to ask specific legal questions in a given practice area and allow the group to stay apprised of changes in the law and best practices for screening clients about a specific legal issue.

LRIS and its team of legal interviewers are trusted, trained professionals, committed to serving the needs of the public and providing the highest quality customer service. If you are an attorney who encounters a client with a legal need outside your practice area, or a person in need of legal assistance, 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’s panel of attorneys, please visit Read more about our program, download panel applications, and view attorney testimonials. You may also contact the LRIS Membership Coordinator, Yvonne Ng, at 415-782-9000 x8750 or for direct service. LRIS is a revenue generating program, the proceeds of which help to support BASF’s charitable programs.

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