How the WSBA Moderate Means Program Works
Affordable Legal Services
The Program connects people whose income is within 200–400% of the Federal Poverty Level to lawyers who offer legal help at reduced fees (usually $50 to $150 an hour).
Here’s what you can expect for a Moderate Means Program attorney:
The private lawyers participating in the Moderate Means Program are solely liable for their actions. Neither the Washington State Bar Association nor the law schools are responsible for the services you receive from the lawyer.
Step 1 - Are you Eligible?
Step 2 - Apply
Step 3 - Talk with a Law Student Volunteer
Step 4 - Get a Referral
Step 5 - Meet with the Lawyer
To be eligible for the Moderate Means Program you must be facing a family, housing, or consumer law issue AND your household income must fall between 200-400% of the Federal Poverty Level.
2013 Federal Poverty Level Guidelines
Source: Calculations on data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
If you don’t think that you have an issue that fits within the areas listed above, or your income is below 200% of the FPL, you won’t qualify for the MMP. Check out our Additional Legal Resources page for other resources available to low income individuals and those with different legal issues.
If you believe you are eligible for the program services, apply online for legal help. Applying online is the fastest way to process your request. After we receive your online application, a law student volunteer will call you within 3 business days.
If you can’t apply online or have trouble with the application, please call our toll free intake line at 1-855-741-6930. We will call you back as soon as possible.
The WSBA Moderate Means Program does not provide immediate assistance. It can take up to three weeks to place a case and the program cannot guarantee a referral. Other legal resources are available if you need help immediate assistance.
A law student volunteer from Gonzaga University, Seattle University, or the University of Washington will talk with you about your legal issue and household income. The volunteer gives this information to our staff lawyers. The staff lawyers determine if your case is eligible for the program.
If your case is eligible, we will refer you to a participating lawyer. After a lawyer accepts your case, we will give you ther name and phone number. You are responsible for contacting the lawyer to set up a meeting.
We will tell you if we can’t refer your case. We may suggest other organizations or resources that can help you.
Call the lawyer to schedule a meeting. During your first meeting, you and the lawyer will decide if you want to work together. If you hire the lawyer, you will need to discuss how much to pay him and if a deposit will be required before he starts working on your case. We suggest that lawyers use our sliding fee scale.
Client income 200-250% FPL: reduce fee by 75%Client income 250-350% FPL: reduce fee by 50%Client income 350-400% FPL: reduce fee by 25%
However, the lawyer doesn’t have to use this scale to decide how much he will charge you. You don’t have to hire the lawyer. If you decide not to hire the lawyer, please contact us. We may be able to refer your case to another lawyer, but we can’t guarantee this.
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