Today, many of Los Angeles County’s hardworking residents, living off moderate incomes, face a major dilemma. When a legal problem arises, they are caught between ineligibility for pro bono support and the inability to pay regular rates for private practicing attorneys. However quality and affordable legal support services can now be a reality for moderate-income people—thanks to the Beverly Hills Bar Association’s Modest Means Program.
The Modest Means Program refers qualified persons to its panel of family law, landlord tenant and/or probate attorneys. The attorneys agree to charge reduced hourly rates and a reduced retainer fee. For hourly rates, the attorneys are permitted to charge $50.00 - $300.00 per hour*. For the retainer fee, they are allowed to charge $500.00 - $1500.00*. The initial 30-minute consultation is free.
Eligibility for the program is based on the individual’s gross monthly income and the number of individuals in his/her household. Modest Means is not a low-income or pro bono service. Interested clients must have a case in Los Angeles County. However, they do not have to reside in this county.
* Hourly rate and retainer amount are determined by individual’s income qualifications or tier level.
BHBA Lawyer Referral & Information Service Modest Means
1) What is the Modest Means Program?
The Modest Means Program refers qualified persons to its panel of Family law, Landlord Tenant, Estate Planning and/or Probate attorneys. The attorneys agree to charge reduced hourly rates and a reduced retainer fee. For hourly rates attorneys have agreed to charge $50.00- $300.00 per hour. For the retainer fee, they may charge $500.00-$1500.00. The hourly rate depends on your monthly income, and the number of people living in your household according to California’s poverty guidelines.
2) How do I qualify for the Modest Means Program?
Eligibility for the program is based on your gross monthly income and the number of individuals in your household. Modest Means is not a low-income or pro bono service. Clients are expected to pay the reduced attorney’s fees. Interested clients must have a legal case, or are seeking to open a legal case in Los Angeles County, but they do not have to reside in the County.
3) How much is the referral fee and what does it cover?
There is no fee to submit an application; and we will refer you for a consultation with an attorney of up to a half-hour for free once your application has been processed and approved. If you decide to hire the attorney and they accept the case you are entitled to reduced attorneys fee and reduced retainer as mutually agreed to between the client and the attorney.
4) How do I apply for the Modest Means program?
To sign-up for the program you must fill out a simple application, submit income verification such as copies of six weeks of your most recent pay stubs.
5) What is the referral service contact information and office hours?
Direct phone line: 310.601.2440 ~ Email address: LRIS@BHBA.org
Office Hours: Monday-Friday: 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The office is closed on weekends and holidays.
INCOME QUALIFICATION GUIDELINES:
The applicant’s income (as verified by 6 weeks of pay stubs and other requested financial documentation) must fall within the guidelines listed below to be considered for the Modest Means Program*:
|# of person(s) in Household||Tier One
Gross Monthly Income**
Gross Monthly Income
|1 person||$923 -- $ 1,711||$1,712 -- $2,500|
|2 persons||$1,244 -- $2,184||$2,185 -- $3,125|
|3 persons||$1,565 -- $2,658||$2,659 -- $3,750|
|4 persons||$1,885 -- $3,130||$3,131 -- $4,375|
|5 persons||$2,206 -- $3,653||$3,654 -- $5,000|
If additional family members add $321 for each
* Child support received is not calculated in the monthly income range.
** The minimum qualifications under Tier One are the maximum qualifications for Los Angeles Legal Aid.