Become a Modest Means Program Panel Member

Benefits of the Program

Low Supply/High Demand

  • There is a huge demand for legal services in the “forgotten middle” and few practitioners to meet the need.
  • The Modest Means Program can help you develop an efficient practice and meet this need while earning a reasonable fee.

Give Back—While Growing Your Practice

  • Many people want to get legal help, but don’t qualify for legal aid programs.
  • Many want to pay, but can’t afford the market rate.
  • Build a practice that’s efficient, and fills a huge legal need.


Program Legal Topic Areas

  • Bankruptcy Law – This service is limited to the preparation and filing of Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases which will be handled for a flat fee of $500. This amount excludes filing fees, costs associated with adversarial proceedings, responses to contested matters, appeals, rule 2004 examination fees, transcript, and interpreter fees. If the attorney and client decide to undertake work outside the scope of the flat fee program, the hourly rate will be $75.
  • Consumer Law – General consumer matters including fair debt collection, credit reporting, new/used car matters, utility disputes and creditor collection matters, as well as debtor/garnishment and repossession defense. Note: Attorney fees are allowed as part of the damages in some consumer cases. If the attorney obtains an award of attorney fees, they can keep that award. If the award is more than the fees or retainer paid you will receive a refund.
  • Criminal Law – Covered criminal law matters consist of expungements and driver’s license restoration and appeals.
  • Family Law – Covered matters include divorce/separation and custody, annulment, visitation, adoption, paternity, emancipation, and name changes. Services provided may include the preparation of documents, preparation for, and representation at, referee and court hearings.
  • Probate and Estate Planning – Includes estate and disability planning, probate estate and trust administration, conservatorships and guardianships.
  • Real Property – Includes matters related to deed preparation, the purchase and sale of residential real estate and residential tenant matters.

Fees: With the exception of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the hourly fee and retainer cap described in Section IV of the MMP Guidelines applies to these cases.

Additional practice areas will be added as needed and availability of panel members becomes known.

Modest Means Program
Panel Member

How to Join the SBM Modest Means Program

MMP Rules
MMP Practice Areas
LRS—Creating New Profile
LRS/MMP Panelist Portal

For questions about the Modest Means Program, Lawyer Referral Service, and Limited Scope Representation, or the registration process, contact:

Monique Smith, LRS Panel Coordinator
(517) 346-6323

Helpful Links

Benefits of Panel Membership
LRS Program Rules
Model Retainer Agreement
Sample Client Application
2021 Poverty Guidelines

Additional Practice Opportunities

LRS Panel Member

Learn About
Limited Scope Representation