How to Locate an Attorney

Updated by Fred Dingledy
December 2018


This guide is intended to assist the patron who wants to find information about a specific attorney or who wants to locate an attorney who practices in a specific area of law or in a particular geographic area.

  1. Martindale-Hubbell Online
  2. Other Online Directories
  3. Print Directories
  4. Lawyer Referral Service
  5. Legal Aid
  6. ABA Free Legal Answers
  7. Other Resources

At you can search for contact information for lawyers, law firms, in-house counsel, corporate legal departments, U.S. government attorneys, and U.S. law school faculty members. Some entries include reviews by other attorneys or by clients. Martindale Hubbell provides access to over 1 million lawyers and law firms in more than 160 countries.

Other Online Directories

Findlaw, owned by the parent company of Westlaw, allows searching for attorneys by name, location, and legal issue. Chambers USA, Super Lawyers, and Best Lawyers are selective nationwide directories of attorneys. Avvo is a lawyer directory that includes client reviews.

Print Directories

Other directories listing attorneys are available in the law library. For a complete listing, enter the following term search in our online catalog:lawyers united states directories, or lawyers virginia directories

Two examples of directories listing Virginia lawyers are:

Hampton Roads Legal Directory ([Reference] KF193 .H36 H36) - This directory lists attorneys and law firms in the Hampton Roads area alphabetically. Last edition published 2015.

Virginia's Legal Directory 
([Reference] KF190 V52) - This covers both Virginia and West Virginia, listing attorneys by name for the entire state , listing law firms by name for the entire state, and listing attorneys by city and county in Virginia. Addresses and telephone numbers are provided.

Lawyer Referral Service

Tel.: (800) 552-7977

The Virginia Lawyer Referral Service is a service of the Virginia State Bar. The lawyer referral service provides referrals to an attorney who has indicated a particular interest in handling problems in the area of law requested by the individual requesting a referral. Participating attorneys have agreed to offer an initial 30-minute consultation for a fee of $35.00. Prospective clients should ask the attorney directly about any fees before beginning a consultation.

Legal Aid provides information about legal aid in Virginia. You can use the Find Legal Help page for a nearby legal aid office by name or by location and legal issue. You can also call for legal aid information: 1-866-LEGALAID (1-866-534-5243).

ABA Free Legal Answers

People who do not already have a lawyer and whose income and assets are not above a certain level can use the American Bar Association's Free Legal Answers service to ask a lawyer a question that involves civil, not criminal, law and get a reply by email. You will need to register for free and answer questions to find out if you qualify before you can ask any questions.

Other Resources:


How to Deal with Your Lawyer: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions (LAW SELF-HELP KF311 F69 2008)

How to Train a Lawyer: The Client Handbook (LAW SELF HELP KF311 .H84 2014)

The Lawsuit Survival Guide: A Client's Companion to Litigation (LAW SELF-HELP KF8863 M28 2001)

Your Lawyer: A User's Guide (LAW SELF-HELP KF311 Z9F69 2006)

Online articles:

"How Do I Find a Lawyer?", American Bar Association (last visited April 13, 2018).

"How to Find an Excellent Lawyer", Nolo (last visited April 13, 2018).

"How to Find a Reputable Lawyer", Lifehacker (posted August 2, 2011).