Self-help law center
Legal assistance–Frequently asked questions about lawyers
- How do I find a lawyer?
- I don't think I can afford a lawyer; are there alternatives?
- How can I determine if a lawyer is in good standing with the court?
- What are the pro bono rules for Wisconsin?
- Where can I complain about my attorney?
Q. How do I find a lawyer?
Lawyers can be found through a number of methods. The State Bar of Wisconsin offers a lawyer referral service (external link); the service is available by phone or on the Web. The Wisconsin State Law Library (WSLL) directories page (State Law Library link) links to a number of Web-based lawyer directories; you may also want to look in the yellow pages under Attorneys. Finally, try asking friends or relatives if they have been satisfied with the services of individual lawyers. When choosing a lawyer, be sure to select one that has experience in your type of case. Visit WSLL's hire a lawyer page for more information. (State Law Library link)
Q. I don't think I can afford a lawyer; are there alternatives?
Visit the resources to help find a lawyer page for programs that offer no or low-cost legal aid and information that can help you determine if you can afford a lawyer.
Q. How can I determine if a lawyer is in good standing with the court?
The WisBar Lawyer Search (external link) provides license status. The court's Office of Lawyer Regulation can also tell you if the Office has imposed public discipline upon a lawyer.
Q. What are the pro bono rules for Wisconsin?
Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule 20:6.1 discusses pro bono requirements for lawyers.
Q. Where can I complain about my attorney?
The Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) investigates grievances about attorney misconduct or medical incapacity. OLR provides instructions on how to file a grievance, outlines the grievance process, and explains under what circumstances you may learn whether other grievances have been filed or whether the attorney has been previously disciplined. For more information visit the for attorneys section of the site.
If your complaint deals with malpractice rather than misconduct, you may wish to consult a different attorney to pursue the matter. The Wisconsin State Law Library provides links to tips on hiring and working with a lawyer. The library also provides additional links to information about lawyer regulation and malpractice. (State Law Library link)