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Not-for-profit law firm in Utah offers fees according to household income

By Neasa MacErlean

19 August 2014 at 06:26 BST

Open Legal Services has become the first not-for-profit law firm in Utah, benefitting from tax reliefs for such businesses and offering sliding scale fees to clients.

An innovative law firm is cutting costs for clients in Salt Lake City Lehakok

Hourly fees in the Salt Lake City practice are pegged at between US$50 and US$135, depending on the client’s annual income. It works with criminal and family law clients who are above the level to qualify for pro bono services but who cannot afford to go to traditional law firms. The two lawyers who set up the practice, Shantelle Argyle and Daniel Spencer, say that they have begun ‘a revolution in affordable legal services’. 

Big advantage

Qualifying as a 501(c)3 organisation (not-for-profit) the firm is excused income tax and it can get a rebate on sales taxes. Shantelle Argyle said: ‘The big one for us, and the advantage we have in law, is the referral sources. That’s the number one thing. The court can refer to us directly. The Bar [Association] can refer to us directly and the other nonprofits that have strict policies can refer to us.’ Source: Deseret News and Open Legal Services


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