Do you need an Attorney but Can’t Afford the Full Fees?
The Modest Means Legal Program May Be Able to Help
The Modest Means Program
The Modest Means Program is designed for people who have some ability to pay for an attorney, but who cannot afford an attorney’s full fees.
The Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) maintains a panel of attorneys who have agreed to accept certain cases at a reduced rate.
If you cannot afford to pay $80 – $125 per hour, with an average retainer of $800 – $1500, please check out these other NH Legal Services Programs.
How Modest Means Works
When you contact the program, information regarding your legal matter and financial situation will be used to determine eligibility for the Modest Means Program, and which rate tier you qualify for. If qualified, LRS staff will attempt to match you with a program attorney in your area. You are not obliged to hire the attorney and the attorney is not obliged to take the case. If the attorney is unable to help you, LRS will attempt to make up to three referrals, one at a time.
Depending upon income, you may qualify for legal services at one of the following hourly rates: $80/$100/$125. The amount of the retainer will be determined by the attorney but is, on average, $800-$1,500.
The program charges a one-time, non-refundable $25 application fee at the time of referral. There is no charge if you do not qualify for the Modest Means Program. If you qualify, you will receive a referral immediately.
What do I need to apply?
You will need to provide the following information:
- Gross household income (income from ALL adults, regardless of involvement in your case).
- Balance of checking and/or savings accounts
- Child support and/or alimony payments received or paid
- Value of stocks, bonds, CDs, retirement accounts
- Method of payment via phone for the $25 fee
Cases Not Eligible for the Modest Means Program
Generally, any case that may result in a monetary award is not eligible for the Modest Means Program. Those suing for monetary award are not eligible; however the individual being sued may be eligible. Other types of cases that are not eligible also include criminal matters where the accused is eligible for a public defender or court appointed attorney or cases that qualify for free legal services through another program.