How to Find an Attorney
You should consider hiring an attorney to represent you during the arbitration or mediation proceedings to provide direction and advice. Even if you do not choose to hire an attorney, brokerage firms are generally represented by an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, some law schools provide legal representation through securities arbitration clinics.
The Office of Dispute Resolution staff members cannot provide specific recommendations for finding an attorney or other legal representation. However, we can offer the following general guidance.
Finding an Attorney
The SEC provides the following advice on finding an attorney who specializes in resolving securities complaints.
If you need help in finding a lawyer who specializes in resolving securities complaints, you may want to try the following:
- Consult with your lawyer, if you have one, about your options and whether you need a lawyer who specializes in securities arbitration or litigation.
- Call several bar associations to obtain a varied listing of lawyers in your area. Many lawyers will offer to consult with you initially for free or for a minimal fee.
- Broaden your list of potential securities lawyers by consulting directories of attorneys. The Martindale-Hubbell® Law Directory can be found at many libraries or at its website. It lists lawyers by state and jurisdictions. Some state and local bar associations also compile directories and may list attorneys according to specialty.
For your convenience, we have listed below the names of two national bar associations that may provide you with referrals in your area:
This is not a complete list and you may want to check with your state, county or city bar associations. We cannot endorse or recommend a specific lawyer to you, vouch for the competence of any lawyer recommended to you by a bar association or referral service, nor recommend the services of one bar association over another.
Securities Arbitration Clinics
The law schools listed below provide legal representation through securities arbitration clinics. These clinics help parties who have smaller claims and who are unable to hire a lawyer. Under the supervision of attorneys, law students will represent qualified parties in arbitrations and mediations before FINRA. Parties need to determine if they qualify for help from a clinic; some clinics will not handle claims above a set amount, or if your household income is too high. Please check directly with each clinic for information.
Investors who live outside of the states below may be able to request help from the clinics. Please check directly with each clinic for information.
Click on each state for detailed eligibility requirements and information about the clinics:
- Pepperdine University
- University of San Francisco
- Howard University School of Law
- University of Miami School of Law
- Northwestern University
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas—William S. Boyd School of Law
- Seton Hall University School of Law
- Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
- Cornell University Law School
- Fordham University School of Law
- New York Law School
- Pace University School of Law John Jay Legal Services
- St. John's University School of Law
- Syracuse University College of Law
- The University of Pittsburgh School of Law