Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS)
What We Do?
CLA provides legal services through referrals, clinics and manages the USPTO California Inventors Assistance Program.
How We Can Help:
Are you an artist, arts organization, inventor, or anyone with an arts or innovation-related legal question or inventor in need of legal assistance with areas such as trademark protection, landlord/tenant, copyright, contract negotiations, etc.? We can help! If you are in need of financial assistance, CLA can provide a low cost or pro bono legal referral to an attorney on our panel.
Fill out the Lawyer Request form to get started
Are you an inventor in need of legal assistance?
STEP 1: Begin a lawyer referral intake
Referral administrative fee: $20 CLA Members | $35 Non-Members
*CIAP referral administrative fees are higher than standard administrative fees
STEP 2: Lawyer Search
We search our Panel Attorney database to match you with an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in the area of law necessary to help you with your legal matter.
STEP 3: Lawyer Match
If we are able to match you with an attorney we will connect you with them to begin your legal assistance.
Are you in need of financial assistance?
CLA offers Pro Bono and Modest Means legal assistance for those whose adjusted gross income is near the poverty line.
If your adjusted gross income on your IRS 1040 Income Tax Return is 'near' the federal poverty guidelines you 'may' qualify for one of our pro bono or modest means programs. If you would like to apply for assistance under one of those programs, please start the lawyer referral process by completing the Lawyer Request Form at the link above.
The referral administrative fee is not charged until a match is made.
Are you an attorney looking to join our attorney panel?
CLA is a State Bar of California Certified Lawyer Referral Service
CERTIFICATION MEANS that a lawyer referral service meets certain standards approved by the California Supreme Court. Certification also means that if you use a certified service, you can be assured of the following:
ATTORNEYS ARE INSURED. All lawyers who participate in certified lawyer referral services must carry malpractice insurance to protect their clients. This means that if your lawyer does something wrong, and you successfully sue for malpractice, you can be sure the lawyer has the ability to pay.
THE LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICE WILL SCREEN YOUR CALL. Every certified lawyer referral service has trained staff to help you determine whether you have a legal problem and, if so, what kind of lawyer you need — or if you need some other type of assistance.
THE LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICE CAN REFER YOU TO A LAWYER IN YOUR AREA OF LEGAL NEED. Certified lawyer referral services have lawyers with experience in many legal areas. Certified lawyer referral services screen their lawyers so they can refer you to a lawyer who practices in the particular area of law you need. Many lawyer referral services have subject matter panels, on which attorneys can serve only if they have demonstrated experience or meet certain other requirements.
THE LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICE CAN give you information about other service programs. Some problems may at first seem to require a lawyer’s help, but actually may not. For example, you may have a problem that can be handled for free in small claims court or by a mediation program. Certified lawyer referral services can direct you to government agencies or other organizations that may be better suited to assist you. In fact, thousands of Californians call lawyer referral services each year and fewer than 40 percent are actually referred to lawyers.
THE LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICE MAY BE ABLE TO PROVIDE AN ATTORNEY AT A REDUCED RATE. Certification rules require lawyer referral services to make arrangements to serve people of limited means. Some lawyer referral services do this by operating low-fee or no-fee panels, while others cooperate with independent, local pro bono programs that are free. If you are financially eligible, the lawyer referral service may be able to refer you to one of its own attorneys who charges a reduced rate, or to another provider who can provide you with free assistance.
THE LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICE MAY BE ABLE TO PROVIDE BILINGUAL LAWYERS. Many certified lawyer referral services have lawyers who speak Spanish and other languages to help you.
SOURCE: "A Lawyer Referral Service Can Help You" | State Bar of California