Modest Means Program

Reduced Fee Legal Assistance

Why Call (800) 968-0738?

The Modest Means Program is avialable for persons who cannot afford a lawyer but are not eligible for a free lawyer from Legal Aid of Michigan. The Modest Means Program is not a legal aid program and it is not a pro bono (free) program. You must be able to pay $35 for an initial consultation, plus $60/80/100 per hour (as applicable) for any work done beyond the initial consultation. In order to be referred to a Modest Means Program lawyer, your application must demonstrate that you have the ability to pay these fees. If someone will be helping you pay for your legal fees and costs please explain that on your application. If you are unable to pay these fees and costs, you should contact the legal aid office in your county of residence.

If you'd like to research the attorney who best fits your legal needs yourself, you can do so for free! The State Bar of Michigan provides a statewide directory of all attorneys who are licensed to practice law in the state. Search by name, firm, city, county, accepting clients, practice area and free consultation.

If you pre-qualify, we will give you the name and phone number of a lawyer in your area for you to contact. The lawyer to whom we refer you will receive a copy of your application and may ask additional questions to confirm your eligibility for the program. The lawyer has the final say as to whether or not you qualify for the program.

If you are referred to a Modest Means lawyer, you will need to call the lawyer to make an appointment for your initial consultation. Your consultation will cost no more than $35, payable at the time that you meet with the lawyer. Whether or not you hire the lawyer to represent you after your initial consultation is a decision for both you and the lawyer to make. We cannot guarantee that a lawyer will agree to take your case. All Modest Means lawyers who participate are volunteers and have the right to choose whether or not they will accept your case.

Lawyers who are willing to accept Modest Means clients have agreed to charge no more than $60, $80, or $100 per hour for any services they provide beyond the initial $35 consultation. Which hourly rate will apply to you depends upon your income and assets. You will be asked to pay a retainer (deposit against fees) up front. The retainer amount will be determined by the lawyer following your initial consultation. The amount of the retainer will depend on the lawyer's estimate of how much work will be required to complete your case. You will also be charged for any court fees and other direct costs, including phone charges, photocopy expenses, etc.