Let's examine what happens when you make a great referral:
1. You have provided your client great legal services. Through YOUR knowledge of the client's legal issues, and contacts in the legal community, you got them to the right lawyer. You also probably gave the client some real advice, AND you got the new lawyer started right, by narrowing the issues. You might have done a credible job with the case....but your specialist referral will do it better, and we all know it.
2. Referral/participation fees. When you make money and someone else is doing the bulk of the work, and you are doing this repeatedly, this is just plain smart business. In the sophisticated business world, as opposed to the lawyer general practice world, this is called LEVERAGE. Leverage, in this context, is a good thing.
3. You will receive referrals back. Every time you make a referral, you have an opportunity to market for the cases you DO want. Specialists all get calls for cases outside their field, and they refer them out (because they are specialists). BE one of the lawyers they refer cases to.
4. You expand your network. You have someone to refer to the next time you get that call. Sometimes clients call and you don't have someone readily available for the referral. Don't immediately turn the client away. Get the facts, and use your resources to find them an attorney. Use the internet, call your attorney friends, check the County Bar Association committee lists, but MAKE SOME EFFORT. A specialist that you call after tracking them down, and hearing you say "I'm ______ an attorney in _____ County, and I have a client who needs an attorney who can do ______, and I found you by ___________" will respect you, will probably take the case, will pay you, will refer business to you, and will be someone you can refer to again. Expanding your network is always good.......