Do You Need an Attorney but Can't Afford an Attorney's Full Fees?
The Reduced-Fee Program May be Able to Help!
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What is the Reduced-Fee
Operated by the Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) of
the NH Bar Association, the Reduced-Fee Program
can refer you to an attorney who has agreed to
accept certain cases at a reduced rate, if you meet
certain eligibility requirements.
What is the reduced rate?
The fees differ from attorney to attorney, but the
maximum hourly rate is $80. The amount of the
retainer will be determined by the attorney, but is
usually less than is normally charged.
How are the attorneys chosen for
each individual case?
LRS maintains a database or panel of attorneys
who have agreed to accept cases on a reduced-fee
basis. The panel can be searched by the type of
attorney needed, and the geographic location of
the caller. LRS will attempt to find an attorney in
as convenient a location for the caller as possible.
Do I have to hire the attorney I
am referred to?
You are not obligated to hire the attorney you are
referred to, and the attorney is also not required
to take your case. If the attorney you are referred
to is unable to assist you, the Program will attempt
to provide you with a total of three referrals
depending on availability.
Is there a charge for this
service? How do I apply?
LRS charges a non-refundable $25 application fee,
which is due at the time of referral. You may apply
over the phone by calling (603) 715-3290. (LRS is
not a walk-in service.) The application process
takes only a few minutes. If you qualify, you will
receive the name of an attorney immediately. If
you do not qualify, you will not be charged the fee.
You may also check your eligibility for the Program
by applying online at www.nhbar.org.
How will my eligibility be
Eligibility is determined by your gross household
income, including earned and unearned income
of every person residing in your household. Child
support and alimony payments are the only
expenses that may be deducted from gross income
to determine eligibility. When you call to apply,
please be ready to provide your gross household
income, bank account balances, and the value of
any stocks, bonds, CD's and/or retirement accounts.
What if I don't have an income?
Am I still eligible?
The Program is designed for people who have some
ability to pay for an attorney but cannot afford an
attorney's full fees. If you need free services, check out the other NH Legal Service Programs.
What types of cases are eligible
for the Reduced-Fee Program?
Civil Litigation Defense
• Real Estate Foreclosure
• Student Loan Issues
• Issues with Builders
• Issues with New or Used Car Purchases
• DUI First Offense
• Cases Denied for a Public Defender
• Class B Misdemeanors
• Special Education and Student Rights
• Residential Responsibility
• Child Support
• Gay & Lesbian Family Issues
• Domestic Violence
• Mobile Home Park Issues
Medicaid/Medicare Related Issues
• Eviction/Security Deposits
Mental Health Law
• Estate Planning and Advance Directives
Real Estate Law
• Guardianship of Incapacitated Adults
What Types of Cases are not
Eligible for the Reduced-Fee
Generally, any case that may result in a monetary
award is not eligible for a Reduced-Fee referral.
Cases that involve suing individuals or organizations
for monetary damages are not eligible. However,
the individual who is being sued may be eligible for
a Reduced-Fee referral. Other types of cases that
are not eligible also include criminal matters where
the accused is eligible for a public defender or a
court appointed attorney.
How Do I Apply for a Reduced-Fee Referral?
You may apply over the phone by calling 603-715-3290. The application process only takes about 5 minutes. You will need to know your gross household income (include income from ALL adults regardless of involvement in your case), balance of checking and/or savings accounts, child support and alimony received or paid, and value of any stocks, bonds, CD's or retirement accounts. You will also need a method of payment for the $25 application fee to pay by phone. You will not be charged a fee if you do not qualify for the program.
You may also apply online by submitting the Prequalification Form. If you qualify, you will be emailed a form to mail in with your payment to receive a referral, or you may call 603-715-3290 for your referral. Be sure to have your prequalification ID# from the form that will be emailed to you.
If you would prefer to fill out and mail in a paper application, print it out and send it along with a check or money order for $25 to: Reduced-Fee Program, 2 Pillsbury Street, Concord, NH 03301. If you do not qualify for the program, your $25 will be returned to you.
If you have any questions, please call the Reduced-Fee program at 603-715-3290.