Prince William County Bar Association Modest Means Program
The purpose of the Prince William County Bar Association Modest Means Program (MMP) is to assist moderate income residents of Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park in obtaining access to reduced fee legal services.
Many residents in this community cannot afford to hire an attorney due to income limitations. Legal Services of Northern Virginia (LSNV) provides free legal services on a variety of civil litigation related matters to those whose income falls below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines (e.g. $49,200 per year for a family of four). LSNV screens residents at intake to determine eligibility for legal services through their program. Residents with incomes above 200%, but below 250% of the federal poverty guidelines, (with certain asset limitations), are eligible for a referral to a Modest Means Panel lawyer, and are automatically referred to this Program.
For criminal matters where the individual faces possible incarceration, the court can refer clients with incomes below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines (e.g. $30,750 per year for a family of four) to a court appointed attorney. Eligibility for a court appointed attorney is determined by completion of a financial statement through the clerk’s office. If the court believes the resident is only slightly over the income limit to receive a court appointed attorney, they can refer the client to the MMP Program where PWC Bar Association staff will review the financial statement provided by the clerk’s office. Residents with incomes above 125% but below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines (with certain asset limitations), are eligible for a referral to a Modest Means Panel lawyer.
Upon referral to the MMP Program, the PWC Bar will contact the individual to ask a few questions to determine the nature of their legal issue and then will refer them to a lawyer who is experienced in that area of law. There is a nominal fee of $35.00 for this referral which covers the cost of the first visit with the lawyer. The fee is collected at the time the referral is made. If the individual decides to hire the lawyer to represent him, the lawyer will charge at a reduced rate which approximates to one-third of the market rate for lawyers in this area.
To determine if you are eligible for free legal services through Legal Services of Northern Virginia or reduced fee legal services through the PWC Bar Modest Means Program, contact LSNV at (703) 778-6800.