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 is operated by the Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) of the NH Bar Association.
The Modest Mean Program
A financial intake will be used to determine your eligibility for the program. If eligible, you will be referred to a Modest Means panel attorney. NOTE: Certain types of cases are not eligible.
Modest Means provides three possible hourly rate tiers ranging from $80 to $125/hour. The amount of the retainer will be determined by the attorney but is, on average, $800-$1,500.
LRS 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.
The Modest Means Program is designed for people who have some ability to pay for an attorney, but cannot afford an attorney’s full fees. If you cannot afford to pay an attorney, check out these other NH Legal Services Programs.
How Modest Means Works
LRS maintains a panel of attorneys who have agreed to accept certain cases at a reduced rate for those who have the ability to pay some legal fees. The panel can be searched by case type and geographic location. 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 provide you with another attorney.
What do I need to apply?
Needed for or the short application (five minutes):
- 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.