Frequently Asked Questions for the Public

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1. How do I find an attorney to assist me with my case?
Some counties have their own lawyer referral services to assist you. Other county lawyer referral services are administered through the PBA's Lawyer Referral Service. Click here for more information or call the PBA Lawyer Referral Service at 1-800-692-7375 (in-state) for assistance.

2. How do I know if an attorney is in good standing in Pennsylvania?
Call the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania at 717-231-3380 or go to their website.

3. How do I find out if an attorney has any grievances/complaints filed against him or her?
Call the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania at 717-231-3380 or go to their website.

4. How do I obtain guidance if I think my lawyer has acted unethically?
If you feel that you may have a claim for professional negligence or malpractice, you should consult counsel of your choice for advice as to whether you have remedies available to you. The PBA does not regulate the conduct of lawyers or provide ethics advice to non-lawyers.

5. What is pro bono legal service and how do I find a pro bono attorney?
The term pro bono, short for pro bono publico, is Latin meaning "for the public good." Pro bono legal service is performed by lawyers without pay to help people with legal problems who have limited or no funds. Contact your county legal services provider program for further information or click here for more information on county-based pro bono legal service.

6. How do I find out if an attorney is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?
Call the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania at 717-231-3380 or go to their website.

7. What is the Pennsylvania IOLTA (Interest on Lawyer Trust Account) program?
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania amended the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct effective Sept. 1, 1996, to require that lawyers place fiduciary funds entrusted to them as a result of the practice of law into interest bearing status to benefit the owner(s) of the funds, or for qualified funds to benefit the IOLTA program. The lawyer's bank transfers the interest earned on IOLTA accounts to the IOLTA Board, which distributes IOLTA funds for the delivery of civil legal assistance to the poor and disadvantaged, educational legal clinical programs and internships administered by law schools, the administration of justice, and for the administration and development of the IOLTA program. For more information, contact the Pennsylvania IOLTA Board at 601 Commonwealth Ave, Suite 2400, P.O. Box 62445, Harrisburg, Pa. 17106-2445; phone: 717-238-2001 or toll free 888-724-6582; fax: 717-238-2003; email; website.

8. How can I get in touch with a Pennsylvania law school?
Click here for a list of and contact information on Pennsylvania law schools.

9. If I have a dispute with an attorney concerning a fee, where do I call?
Fee disputes are handled at the county bar level. Contact your county bar association.

10. How do I contact my county bar association?
Click here for Pennsylvania county bar association contact information.

11. How do I contact the American Bar Association?
ABA contact information is listed on their website.

12. How do I file a complaint against an attorney?
Contact the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania at one of the following number:
     If the attorney practices in Philadelphia County, call 215-560-6296
     In the rest of Eastern Pennsylvania, call 610-650-8210
     In Central Pennsylvania, call 717-772-8572
     In Western Pennsylvania, call 412-565-3173
For more information, go to the Disciplinary Board website.

13. Where can I find general information on the website about the law and the PBA’s public education programs?
Click here for the PBA’s law-related information for consumers. Click here for the PBA's pamphlet series on consumer legal issues.

14. Does the website contain translations for clients who speak only Spanish or another language?
(¿El sitio web contiene traducciones para clientes que hablan español único idioma u otro?)
For those seeking translation of public content on the PBA website to Spanish or another language, an option is to use the free Google Translate program at http://translate.google.com/#auto|es|. Click here for more information. (Para aquellos que buscan la traducción de contenidos públicos en la página web de PBA al español u otro idioma, una opción es utilizar el programa gratuito de Google Translate en http://translate.google.com/#auto|es|. Haga clic aquí para obtener más información.)

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