The Modest Means Lawyers Referral program was created to make lawyers more accessible to more people
- The Bar has added a new Access to Justice program, complementing the Pro Bono Commission which encourages attorneys to donate free services for those with incomes less than 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (Bar doesn’t coordinate referrals).
- Modest Means Lawyers Referral program helps those with non-extensive assets and who make from 125% to 300% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (for example, up to $70,000 for a family of four).
- Program provides referrals to lawyers who will charge hourly rates of up to $50 or $75.
- More people are self-representing in court; nearly 50% appear for divorces without lawyers.
- It’s difficult for a layperson to be effective because of the complexity of the law and the rules of evidence and procedure.
- Program lawyers can provide limited-scope representation, such as coaching, appearing at a critical hearing, or reviewing documents that the client creates.
- Limited representation and reduced fees give nearly everyone access to competent legal assistance (if not qualified for this program, someone has access to free services or has resources to hire a lawyer).
- Interested parties should visit www.utahbar.org/abc4 to see if they qualify.