|The State Bar of New Mexico has two lawyer referral programs to help members connect with potential clients. The State Bar referral programs are the General Referral Program and the Legal Resources for the Elderly Program.
General Referral Program
General Referral Program panel attorneys agree to provide referral clients with a free, 30-minute consultation. Any services rendered after the initial 30 minutes are billed at the attorney's regular hourly rate. The General Referral Program receives over 10,000 calls per year.
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Legal Resources for the Elderly Program
Legal Resources for the Elderly Program (LREP) is a free legal helpline and referral service for New Mexico residents age 55 and older. LREP referrals to panel attorneys are only made after a staff attorney has screened the case and determined that it is appropriate for referral. LREP referrals are made on full-fee, reduced-fee and pro bono basis. LREP handles approximately 5,000 cases each year. Roughly 10% of LREP's cases are referred to private attorneys for further legal assistance.
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Attorney Eligibility Information
To be eligible to become a referral panel attorney with the State Bar Lawyer Referral Programs, an attorney must be an active member in good standing of the State Bar of New Mexico. The attorney must also maintain professional liability insurance in the minimum amount recommended by NMRA 16-104 ($100,000 per occurrence / $300,000 aggregate).
Note: Referral panel attorneys are covered by the professional liability policy of the State Bar for all pro bono services provided through the referral programs. However, if a referral panel attorney extends his/her services to a for-fee representation, the attorney would be covered by his/her own professional liability policy.
Maria Tanner is the legal service program director for both referral programs. Maria can be reached at email@example.com or 505-797-6047.
Click here to become a referral panel attorney with the State Bar.