CRIST LAW OFFICE
OUR COMMITMENT TO
AFFORDABLE LEGAL SERVICES
The Justice Gap = Unrepresented People
The numbers don't lie. Upwards of 60% of middle class people will go to court unrepresented. 80% of low income people likewise face critical legal matters without the help of a lawyer. These matters impact rights in many life critical areas: family, employment, school, civil disputes, consumer protection and mortgage foreclosure to name a few.
Are you in the "justice gap"? Do you earn too much to qualify for legal aid programs but cannot afford the typical hourly rates and retainers charged by most private attorneys? Hourly rates on average in the U.S. are $284 and many firms require an upfront retainer of thousands. Given the hourly rates, that retainer does not last for the entire case.
The mission of this law practice is to bridge the "gap" and provide access to affordable legal services to people who have been priced out of legal representation and counsel.
Our Fee Program
We understand that the amount of your paycheck does not necessarily represent your budget. The firm operates under a sliding scale for our hourly fee cases taking into consideration income and number of household members as well as other obligations such as child and spousal support. The income scale used is based on the 2017 federal poverty level guidelines. Our hourly rates range from $100 - $175. We have a $75/hour rate for qualifying low income clients.
Cases handled on a contingency basis, such as employment or civil litigation are handled on a low 27% rate plus costs.
Retainer We require at least a 10 hour retainer to be paid upfront on hourly fee cases. As an example, for a client qualifying for the $100 per hour rate, the minimum retainer amount would be $1000.
Retainer on contingency cases will be quoted at the time of initial consult and case review.
To be fair to all clients, we cannot agree to payment plans.
Affordable access to justice and legal services for the average American is one of the most pressing social issues of our time. Crist Law Center joined the revolution in 2016. We need your help to spread the word and always appreciate when our client's refer family and friends to us.
The Risks of Not Having a Lawyer
Courts are overwhelmed with self-represented litigants. The crisis created by the lack of access to legal services and representation has been recognized by bar associations, courts and even the U.S. Department of Justice. Proposed federal budget cuts to legal aid programs will lead to more citizens having a loss of access to legal representation.
Self-represented individuals, called "pro se", present specific burdens on the court. They are disadvantaged from the outset often failing to properly present critical evidence, tripping up on procedural requirements and simply not being able to present their case in a straight forward manner failing to apply relevant facts to the legal standard at hand.
The impact is no lie either. A recent headline in the Washington Post declared "Unable to afford representation, more Americans are going to court alone, and they're losing." Make no mistake, while judges and court staff try their best to give pro se parties their day in court, pro se litigants overwhelm the court system and make mistakes in presenting their own cases.
CONTACT US NOW FOR A FREE CONSULTATION!
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Allegheny County/ Duquesne University Law Library
“We educated, privileged lawyers have a professional and moral duty to represent the underrepresented in our society, to ensure that justice exists for all, both legal and economic justice.”
~ Sonia Sotomayor,
Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice