September 2010 • Vol. 30 No. 8 | An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association

New LRIS Director Named

Seth Chavez has been named director of LACBA’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service

LRIS is the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit lawyer referral service, assisting more than 100,000 members of the public and the legal community who contact the service annually seeking legal advice. LRIS staff screens and directs requests to its 500-member panel of qualified attorneys—or, where appropriate, to available legal services, including specific agencies offering pro bono or low-cost assistance.

LRIS also operates its attorney-to-attorney referral program under which attorneys can refer clients with a legal need outside their area of expertise or can ask for an expert for help with any legal issue or for a second opinion. In addition, LRIS administers the Dependency Court Project for the Juvenile Court, providing tort attorneys with special expertise to represent children who have been abused or injured while wards of the court.

Chavez will supervise a full-time staff and has primary responsibility for referral procedures, qualifications, discipline, audits, training, marketing, and the SmartLaw Web site. Chavez will also work closely with the LRIS Advisory Committee to guide the service and assure its professionalism, competency, and sound administration. The committee, composed of LACBA members, has three standing subcommittees in the areas of qualifications, finance, and peer review.

“It is truly an honor to be selected as the director of the LRIS, which has such a long and bright history of serving the community and the legal profession in Los Angeles County,” said Chavez. “I'm looking forward to guiding the LRIS toward growth in this changing economy and keeping the LRIS competitive in an exceptionally dynamic market.”

Prior to his selection as LRIS Director, Chavez served in LACBA’s Marketing Department beginning in 2005 where his responsibilities included project management, program development and implementation, vendor development and management, membership recruitment, and special projects. Chavez has served as a business consultant to small companies in the areas of client and product development, strategic planning, and marketing.

Chavez received his J.D. in 2004 from Whittier College School of Law and, before that, his bachelor of arts degree from UC Riverside.

Chavez replaces Patricia Holt, who served as LRIS Directing Attorney for nearly 15 years. During her tenure, LRIS increased its revenues by 33 percent and developed a strong competitive advantage through the implementation of advanced systems—including a state-of-the-art phone system, bilingual services and resources, and online referrals—all built from the ground up. Last year alone, LRIS made more than 20,500 referrals to panel attorneys, generated nearly $9 million in fees for participating panel members, and provided assistance to more than 120,000 individuals and businesses.

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