Making a Difference: Moderate Means Program


Many Washington families can’t get the legal help they need, simply because they can’t afford it. The WSBA Moderate Means Program is a free referral panel designed to connect clients whose income is within 200–400% of the Federal Poverty Level to lawyers who offer legal assistance at a reduced fee.

Who we impact: 

Case story #1

A young mother had already filed pro se for dissolution and had a trial date when she contacted the Moderate Means Program. She spoke with a law student who managed the intake and connected her with a qualified attorney in the program. A temporary parenting plan was issued that split residential time for her two year old daughter equally between the client and her husband. However, after the plan was issued, the client received a Domestic Violence Protection Order against the husband who was arrested for physically assaulting her in public. The client, fearing for her safety and the safety of her child, felt she could no longer risk representing herself. She was able to retain an attorney through the Moderate Means Program who could represent her through the remainder of the dissolution process.

Case story #2

After a woman purchased a home from an estate sale, she discovered serious issues with the home. There was mold growing throughout the home making her and her daughter sick. There were further issues with the potability of the water on the property served by a private well. The client had no luck dealing with the seller of the land and further was given the run around by the local municipality. The client was placed with a Moderate Means attorney and reported back that things were going really well. The client made a point to call the law school student intern about a month after the referral to thank him for his hard work and for getting her in touch with an excellent attorney.


Giving to the  Washington State Bar Foundation helps WSBA sustain innovative solutions like the Moderate Means Program.

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