Modest Means lawyers only handle certain kinds of matters. If the specific area of law with which you need help is not listed on the application, then it is not part of the program.
Eligibility is based on the type of your legal matter, your income and assets, and availability of participating lawyers in your particular area of law. It is important to understand that there are a limited number of lawyers in the program, and there may not be a Modest Means lawyer available for you. We cannot guarantee that we will have a lawyer for you even if you pre-quality. In addition, your legal matter must be in El Paso or Teller Counties to be eligible for the Modest Means Program.
We will only contact you if you pre-qualify and you will be required to submit proof of financial eligibility, including: 3 most recent paystubs, bank statements, and verification of special expenses and debts. Once we receive these verification documents we will give you the name and phone number of a lawyer for you to contact. The lawyer to whom we refer you will receive a copy of your application and may ask additional questions to confirm your eligibility for the program. The lawyer has the final say as to whether or not you qualify for the program.
Lawyers who are willing to accept Modest Means clients have agreed to charge no more than $125 per hour for any services they provide beyond the initial $40 in-office consultation. You will be asked to pay a retainer (deposit against fees) up front that will be no more than $750. The retainer amount will be determined by the lawyer following your initial consultation. The amount of the retainer will depend on the lawyer’s estimate of how much work will be required to complete your case. Please note that while the attorney can request up to a $750 retainer, not all cases can be completed within the requested retainer and you may be charged the reduced hourly rate for additional work not covered by the retainer. You will also be charged for any court fees and other direct costs, including phone charges, photocopy expenses, etc.