Prospective Panel Attorneys
The WSBA Moderate Means Program is currently recruiting attorneys to accept free referrals for reduced-fee work in family, housing, and consumer law cases.
In partnership between the WSBA and the law schools of Seattle University, Gonzaga University, and the University of Washington, law students conduct client intake in preparation for referral. The students choose referral attorneys based on the information provided from the online attorney application, this information includes:
Law students contact attorneys by phone or email to describe the case facts and legal issues involved. If interested, the attorney will receive our case notes and legal analysis for review. Attorneys usually have 24 hours to decide whether to have the client referred for an initial consultation. If the case is accepted, the law student provides the attorney’s name and contact information to the client. The client will directly contact the attorney for an initial consultation. Neither the WSBA nor the law schools will be involved in setting, monitoring, or enforcing fee structures.
Each lawyer participating in the program is encouraged to accept at least one case and/or serve as a mentor to a less experienced lawyer who has accepted a referral through the Moderate Means Program. Law students will follow up with participating lawyers throughout the representation to collect general case outcome and fee agreement information. The Moderate Means Program will use this statistical information to highlight successes and identify areas for improvement.
The participating lawyer and Moderate Means Program client should negotiate and determine the fee for representation. Neither WSBA nor the law schools will be involved in setting, monitoring, or enforcing this negotiation and fee agreement. WSBA suggests that participating lawyers reduce their standard fees according to the following sliding fee scale and the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) for clients who are referred by the Program:
Client income 200-250% FPL: reduce fee by 75% Client income 250-350% FPL: reduce fee by 50% Client income 350-400% FPL: reduce fee by 25%
Law student volunteers will help the client determine where their household income falls on the Federal Poverty Level and will send that information to the participating lawyer with the client's referral information. Any and all fees agreed upon by lawyers and their clients are subject to the requirements of Rule of Professional Conduct 1.5. Lawyers are encouraged to provide written fee agreements to ensure that all parties understand the scope and cost of representation.
The Washington State Bar Foundation ensures WSBA has the resources to lead on issues of justice, public service, and diversity. As part of WSBA's strategic goal to enhance the culture of service among members, we are pleased to offer the WSBA Moderate Means Program as a public service opportunity.
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