PROGRAM BENEFITS—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


Meet the Pro Bono Voluntary Standard

The clients you serve will have incomes not exceeding 250% of federal poverty guidelines. For those clients with incomes under 200% of poverty level, your legal services will count towards the State Bar of Michigan’s pro bono service standard for every attorney to serve three clients or provide 30 hours of service each year.


Modest Means Program Legal Topic Areas

Domestic Relations/Family Law

Domestic relations/family law includes, but is not limited to, legal separation, divorce, child custody, paternity, and post judgment matters.

The hourly fee and retainer cap described in Section IV of the MMP Guidelines applies to these cases. Not included in the fee are court filing and motion fees, transcript fees, or mediation fees.



Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases 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 as described in Section IV of the MMP Guidelines.

More practice areas will be added soon based on demand. Become a panel member now.

How to Join the SBM Modest Means Program

MMP Guidelines
Model Retainer Agreement
MMP Rules
2020 Poverty Guidelines

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

Modest Means Program
Panel Member

Additional Practice Opportunities

LRS Panel Member

Learn About
Limited Scope Representation