Sorry New York Times, Attorneys aren’t Permitted to Pay Referral Fees

The Times highlights a legal marketing company that expects a 10% cut of billings from attorneys they refer through their referral service. RPC 5.4 makes it clear that sharing fees with a non-lawyer is prohibited.

Furthermore, basically every bar association has a lawyer referral service for its local jurisdiction, and those referrals are free to clients and inexpensive for participating attorneys.

As to the notion that this is somehow making attorneys’ fees affordable, one should assume it isn’t. I for one am happy to work out reasonable fees for small business and to provide some free advice to my clients when they have quick questions. More importantly, clients should be aware that you get what you pay for.

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