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What if I can't afford an attorney?


If you need legal assistance, but cannot afford to hire an attorney, you may want to contact any of the Pittsburgh agencies listed below to determine if they are able to help. Please keep in mind that many of these agencies have income and asset limitations and may also have limitations on the services they provide.

Allegheny County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service Modest Means Panel


Through the Modest Means Program, a client, once screened, will be referred to one attorney who has agreed to provide a particular service at a reduced fee. To qualify for the Modest Means Panel, an individual must fall within 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines before taxes. In the event that the individual misrepresents his/her income, the attorney will be free to charge his/her normal rates. Currently services are offered in the following areas and at the rates listed. The fees must be paid prior to the attorney performing any work. If the services sought exceed the program specifications, the attorney may charge an additional fee. Contact the ACBA Lawyer Referral Service at 412-261-5555.

Neighborhood Legal Services

Provides services in the following areas: employment and unemployment compensation law, family law, tenant's rights, debt collection, bankruptcy, Protection from Abuse, SSI and Social Security Disability, litigation defense, estates with limited assets and adult guardianships. Contact 412-255-6700 or visit


Office of the Public Defender of Allegheny County

Provides representation to individuals in the following areas: juvenile delinquency, critical pretrial identification procedures, preliminary hearings, state habeas corpus proceedings, state trials, including pre-trial and post-trial motions, Superior Court appeals, Pennsylvania Supreme Court appeals, post conviction hearings at the trial and appellate levels, criminal extradition proceedings, probation and parole violation hearings, involuntary commitment under the Mental Health Procedures Act and any proceeding where personal liberty is in jeopardy. Contact 412-350-2401 if you need legal assistance which does not fall under the guidelines of the above listed agencies, please view the other available resources on the Allegheny County Bar Foundation's Pro Bono Center website.


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