Farmer shaking hands with a lawyer in front of tractor in field

The State of Rural Practice in Washington: Urgent Needs for Moderate Means Program

Finding affordable legal services in Washington state is challenging, the problem only intensifies in Washington’s rural counties. Consider the WSBA’s Moderate Means Program (MMP), a statewide program that matches moderate income clients with a network of legal professionals for assistance on issues of family, housing, consumer, and unemployment law cases at reduced fees. The scarcity of attorneys creates a significant challenge in finding meaningful referrals for this program. As a result, Washingtonians in need of lower-cost legal help often receive no successful or meaningful referral, leaving them without affordable help and rendering the MMP mission nearly impossible to accomplish.

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National Public Defense Week

10 Good Reasons to Honor Public Defense This Week

Besides March Madness, the third week of March 2017 marks other noteworthy occasions. Among these, according to Google, are: Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week, Brain Awareness Week, Girl Scout Week, and Public Defense Week. The value of the first three are self-evident: Breathing. Thinking. Thin Mints. But why public defense? Isn’t it already inclusively acknowledged in National […]

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raise right hand

Want to Do Good and Make a Living? Consider Low Bono

Law students often see themselves working at a public interest or legal-services setting. But after graduation, few new lawyers end up following that path. One study found just 4% of newer lawyers working in a public interest or legal services. Why might this be? Certainly, it is not for lack of demand or the need […]

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Lawyer meeting with clients

Moderate Means: Helping People Find Justice

Charlie Shane is a Bainbridge Island-based attorney who works with clients in the Seattle area and in Kitsap, Mason, and Jefferson counties. For Charlie, the Moderate Means Program has been a great way to give back to his community and help clients who need it.

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Young couple in a meeting with a lawyer.

2 Easy Ways You Can Help Low-Bono Clients in Washington

As a member of the WSBA, you have probably heard about the Low Bono Section (LBS) and the Moderate Means Program (MMP), but you may not know the differences between the two. Although both entities serve similar client populations, they are very different groups. Here’s a quick introduction to both — and some ways you […]

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Michael Addams

Meet Michael Addams, WSBA Moderate Means Attorney

Like most attorneys, Michael Addams wears many hats: principal partner at the Spokane law firm Addams & Leavitt, board member of CASA Partners and Teen Closet, Washington Air National guardsman, WSBA Low Bono Section member, husband and father. In addition, Michael and his firm have incorporated a significant number of moderate means clients into their […]

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An attorney consults a young couple

5 Things You Need to Know about the Moderate Means Program

Contributed by Catherine Brown and Clay Wilson Five years ago this April, WSBA launched the Moderate Means Program (MMP), an initiative to help moderate-income individuals and families in Washington connect with lawyers who would offer affordable legal services. The impact on clients, law students and attorneys is overwhelmingly positive, and over the next year we […]

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