Updated: March 10, 2022

Apply Online to Join the Moderate Means Program

Alert

There is an urgent need for legal professionals to serve moderate income clients in Yakima, Benton, Whatcom, Stevens, Spokane, and Ferry counties. Legal professionals can apply to join the Moderate Means Program online through MyWSBA.org. Sign in using your Bar number, then click “Moderate Means Application” under your profile. 

Background

In 2019, more than 2 million people in Washington were found to be of moderate income, falling between 200% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. Many moderate income clients in need of legal services cannot afford a full-fee attorney, yet do not qualify for free civil legal aid. 

The Moderate Means Program (MMP) is a statewide program designed to serve moderate income clients with a network of attorneys and limited license legal technicians (LLLTs) who offer assistance in family, housing, consumer, and unemployment law cases at reduced fees scaled to the client’s income.

The program is a partnership between the Washington State Bar Association and the law schools of Gonzaga University, Seattle University, and the University of Washington, with support from the WSBA Board of Governors and private grant funding through the Washington State Bar Foundation.

How it Works

Law students, under the supervision of a law school staff attorney, screen clients and conduct a full intake in preparation for referral. This intake includes income information and details of the case. Law students contact legal professionals to place the case. If the attorney or LLLT agrees to speak with the applicant, the law student provides the legal professional’s name and contact information to the applicant. The applicant directly contacts the legal professional for an initial consultation. Neither the WSBA nor the law schools will schedule appointments between applicants and legal professionals. More information about this program can be found in the Moderate Means Program Manual.

Benefits

Participating legal professionals can enjoy a number of benefits.

  • Help Build Your Practice: The Moderate Means Program can help legal professionals build their practice by being added to a referral network with a large volume of clients. 
  • Access Free CLE Trainings: Moderate Means Program participants can access free CLE trainings in the WSBA CLE Public Service Education portfolio. To access this portfolio of CLE programs, email publicservice@wsba.org with your name, Bar number, and a confirmation of your participation in the program. 
  • Supreme Court Honor Roll: Any lawyer who reports performing at least 50 hours of pro bono publico in a calendar year is placed on the WSBA Supreme Court Honor Roll. Significantly reduced rate legal service hours provided to moderate income clients through the Moderate Means Program can count towards pro bono publico hours. 
  • Mentorship: Moderate Means Program participants can access a network of experienced mentors in the areas of unemployment, housing, family, and consumer law to assist you with any MMP cases.

Legal Professionals

Legal professionals can apply online to join the Moderate Means Program through MyWSBA.org. Sign in using your Bar number, then click “Moderate Means Application” under your profile. 

For more information about this program, read our Frequently Asked Questions page, review our Moderate Means Program Manual, or email publicservice@wsba.org.

Law Students

The Moderate Means Program is a way to gain valuable experience interviewing clients and applying classroom topics to real life. To find out more about getting involved, please contact Clay Wilson at Seattle University, Kristina Larry at University of Washington or Arian Noma at Gonzaga University.

Clients

For more information on eligibility requirements and applying for legal services through the program, please visit the MMP clients page.