I Want to Hire a Lawyer!
Whether you're dealing with an immediate crisis or long term planning, you want to be sure that you have the right lawyer to assist you. All of the members of the Lawyer Referral Service are licensed attorneys in Montana, maintain liability insurance and are in good standing with the State Bar of Montana. Attorneys participating in the Lawyer Referral Service have selected the practice areas in which they would like to receive referrals. For more information about hiring an attorney, read When You Need a Lawyer.
Select this link to search for Montana Lawyers by location & area of practice:
Before you select an attorney, you’ll need to consider the following:
JURISDICTION / Where Do You Need the Attorney?
Where your legal matter needs to be filed depends on where the alleged wrong or harm took place, where the other party resides, or if documents were filed previously in a court. (A court in Idaho may have jurisdiction if the divorce was filed there and you want to modify the parenting plan.) In many cases you’ll want an attorney in the same location as the legal matter, although exceptions are common in cases of suits against doctors, other lawyers, schools, and hospitals where lawyers usually prefer to not sue in their hometown due to conflicts of interest. For more information, see this Map of Montana.
AREAS OF LAW / What Type of Attorney do I Need?
Lawyers, like doctors, tend to narrow their areas of practice and generally do not handle all types of law. Therefore, it's imporant that you determine what kind of case you have. This can be difficult, because many areas of law overlap or the title can be confusing. Rather than call alot of lawyers in the hope that you'll find someone who will take your case, do some research and understand the different areas of law first. You'll make fewer phone calls and be more likely to find the right attorney for your situation. For more information, see this Description of Areas of Law .
MEDIATION / Can This Be Resolved Without a Lawsuit?
If you and the other party have some ongoing relationship or contact, then mediation may be an option. Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party helps people to resolve their dispute. It often costs less and can help to resolve the problem without resorting to filing a lawsuit. The cost of mediation is usually shared between the two parties where each pays half of the mediator’s rate. There are attorneys listed on the Referral Service who are mediators.
LEGAL FEES / Can You Afford An Attorney?
The Montana LRIS does not offer pro bono or reduced fee attorneys. All attorneys set their own fees and the nature of your legal matter may significantly affect the amount of retainer the attorney requests. (See How Lawyers Set Their Fees)
FREE SERVICES (Pro Bono)
Clients who meet eligibility requirements, in terms of both income and type of case, are referred to Montana Legal Services or other legal resources. Familiarize yourself with the list of Montana Legal Resources so that you know what other alternatives may be available. Forms and information are also available on our Legal Research page, the State Law Library and at MontanaLawHelp.org.Lawyer Referral Service attorneys agree to charge referred clients a reasonable fee for their service. The Lawyer Referral Service does not provide referrals to pro bono or low income attorneys.
If you're an attorney, follow this link to more information about the LRIS or to join the service.