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Small Business Moderate Means Program

Starting a business involves planning, making financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities.

The Moderate Means Program provides access to experienced attorneys, screened by the New York City Bar Association’s Legal Referral Service, for entrepreneurs who have moderate income levels. The attorneys who participate in this program expect to receive a reduced retainer amount upon being hired and to receive monthly payments toward legal fees for all legal work done on behalf of the client. There is no consultation fee for moderate means referrals, for the first half hour.

Moderate Means Guidelines

In the Moderate Means Program you will need to make an appointment through the Legal Referral Service (LRS) for Monday Night Law to complete an eligibility questionnaire. All information provided in the questionnaire is for the sole purpose of placement with an attorney in the Moderate Means Program, and will not be used or shared in any other manner.

Please note that completing the questionnaire does not guarantee you will be referred to an attorney participating in the Moderate Means Program. You must complete a questionnaire while at Monday Night Law, with the assistance of a Monday Night Law volunteer attorney. You will be contacted by the LRS within about two weeks, advising you whether you qualify for the program and if so, whether a lawyer is available to assist you with you case.

If you meet the requirements of the program and the LRS provides you with the name and phone number of a lawyer, it is your responsibility to contact the lawyer and schedule the initial free half hour consultation.

You are under no obligation to hire the attorney and the attorney is under no obligation to take your case.

There is no charge for this service. If you want to hire an attorney for your small business, and you can pay a reduced retainer amount and can make monthly payments toward your legal fees, a client must schedule an appointment for the Moderate Means Program through LRS 212-626-7373 (English), 212-626-7374 (Spanish).

Other Small Business Resources


Questions to ask before you start a business.

Where is the money for the business coming from?

Are you doing this alone or with others?

Is the person working with you an employee or a partner?

How much are you willing to risk in this business?

Other Areas where you should get Legal Advice

  • Will you be signing a Commercial lease? If not, what are the risks?
  • Will you be leasing equipment?
  • Will you be buying from or selling to out of state suppliers or customers? How can you protect your business?
  • Do you need a license for your business?
  • Do you need liability insurance?
  • Do you need to protect the name of your business or product?
  • Do you need to copyright your ideas or designs?
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