MNLRIS provides legal assistance at reduced rates for low-income individuals facing a variety of legal issues.  Attorneys participating in the program agree to provide full representation to clients for a $750 retainer and at an hourly rate of $90 per hour.

How the Program Works

MNLIRS staff screen callers to determine if they are eligible for the program.  Eligible clients will:

  1. Be employed or on SSI/SSDI,
  2. Have a household income that lies between 125-250% of the federal poverty guidelines, and
  3. Limited accessible assets.

Upon determining that the potential client appears to be eligible for services through the Reduced Fee Program, MNLRIS staff contact attorneys to determine if they are available to take a new case.  Staff will notify the attorney of the opposing party, existence of opposing counsel, any upcoming deadlines, and the procedural history of the case prior to completing the referral.  If the attorney agrees to meet with the potential client, the coordinator will set up an appointment.  Potential clients must indicate that they possess the $750 retainer fee before an appointment will be made.

After the official referral has been made, the coordinator will send the attorney all information that was provided to the program during the screening process.  If the attorney determines that the potential client has not truthfully disclosed their available assets or other important information about the case, the attorney is free to notify the potential client that they must charge their normal rates or to terminate the relationship.

Reporting Requirements and Panel Fees

Attorneys participating in the program are asked to update the MNLRIS on the status of their cases.  Percentage fees will be collected for all Reduced Fee panels.  Attorneys participating in the Reduced Fee Program who are not members of the HCBA or RCBA may waive the non-member surcharge.

Interested in joining the Reduced Fee Program?  Contact Dana Miner at dminer@mnbars.org for a copy of this year’s application.

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