About the Bar

Founded in 1802, the Philadelphia Bar Association is America's oldest chartered metropolitan bar association. Originally created to provide a law library for the city's attorneys, the Association counts several of the nation's founders among its original members.

Located in Center City, this non-profit, independent, voluntary membership organization serves more than 12,000 members. The Bar Association derives its revenue primarily from the dues of its members, who receive a full range of professional services and support including ongoing legal education.

The mission of the Philadelphia Bar Association is to serve the profession and the public by promoting access to justice, professional excellence and respect for the rule of law.

A four-time winner of the American Bar Association's Harrison Tweed Award for community outreach, the Philadelphia Bar Association has been recognized nationally for its sustained commitment to social justice. Since our nation's founding, a Philadelphia lawyer has always connoted extraordinary talent, energy, professionalism, a keen understanding of the law and a willingness to provide every client with exceptional service.

The Philadelphia Bar Association's goal remains constant — to be your partner for justice.


The Philadelphia Bar Association's Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) is one of the oldest legal referral services in the United States, providing referrals and direction to more than one million people in the Philadelphia area over the past 60 years.

LRIS meets American Bar Association standards for lawyer referral services. More than 175 attorneys accept referrals through LRIS. LRIS panel attorneys, many of whom are multilingual, are located throughout the Philadelphia region.

Founded in 1948, LRIS is a resource for all Philadelphia area residents who can afford to pay for an attorney and are looking for one to help them with their legal needs. Formerly a walk-in service, LRIS was restructured in the 1980's to become primarily a telephone referral service.

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