Bankruptcy Access to Justice Project 

The Bar Association of the District of Columbia (“BADC”) Bankruptcy Access to Justice Project (“Bankruptcy ATJ Project”) was formed to increase access to justice in the District of Columbia by forming a panel of qualified bankruptcy attorneys who, depending on household incomes levels, agree to provide free or reduced fee legal services to persons of modest means for Chapter 7 (Liquidation) cases filings, and reduced legal services for Chapter 13 (Reorganization) case filings under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

How Does The Bankruptcy ATJ Project Work? 

Chapter 7: Any persons falling below 150% of the federal poverty guideline is eligible for pro bono (free of charge) legal services. Persons above the guideline, but below 250%, are eligible for low bono (reduced cost) Chapter 7 legal representation. See Table Below.

Chapter 13: Persons filing Chapter 13 will be eligible for a low bono rate. The fees for a Chapter 13 will be in accordance with D.C. Bankruptcy Rule 2016-5, the No Look fee option. Choosing the No Look Fee option AND NOT REQUIRING ANY MONEY DOWN other than  the filing fee qualifies as low bono. Persons filing Chapter 13 will have the ability to pay the Attorney fees through the Chapter 13 plan.

How Do I Qualify for a Free or Reduced Bankruptcy Attorney? 

To contact a bankruptcy attorney through the Bankruptcy ATJ Project panel, please follow these steps:

  1. Call the BADC’s bankruptcy helpline at 202-223-6600 to speak with a Bankruptcy Intake Coordinator;

  2. Please be prepared to inform the Bankruptcy Intake Coordinator how you learned about the project, and to answer preliminary questions about your legal situation (including providing information about your income and assets) to help make a bankruptcy attorney placement. The intake call will determine whether you meet the project requirements for referral to a bankruptcy panel attorney.

  3. If your case meets the project requirements, the Intake Coordinator will make a referral to a bankruptcy panel attorney. At this point: (a) a bankruptcy attorney will decide whether or not to accept your case, and (b) you must decide if the bankruptcy lawyer is the right person to handle your case. Please use your own best judgment when deciding to hire any attorney.

Who Are The Attorneys On The Bankruptcy ATJ Project?

Every panel attorney participating with the BADC ATJ Project has undergone a screening process to ensure that they:

  • Are members in good standing of the D.C. Bar or the appropriate Federal Bar (U.S. Bankruptcy Court);
  • Maintain legal malpractice insurance; and
  • Have the requisite bankruptcy law experience as described by the project.

Each panel lawyer participating in the BADC Bankruptcy ATJ Project is willing to represent individuals who qualify for Chapter 7 cases on a pro bono or low bono basis, and to accept Chapter 13 cases on a low-bono basis.
What Types of Bankruptcy Does the Bankruptcy ATJ Project Cover?

The BADC Bankruptcy ATJ Project only covers personal bankruptcy cases under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The project does not provide intake or referral services for any other types of civil or criminal law. If you need assistance with any other legal matters, outside personal bankruptcy cases, feel free to contact the BADC’s Lawyer Referral Service

CONTACT: 202-223-6600


The BADC does not and cannot guarantee the outcome of any bankruptcy case, or that you will find a bankruptcy lawyer who is a good match for your particular Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case. The materials related to the Bankruptcy Access to Justice Project on this web site are for provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing any legal advice. Use of and access to this website or any of the hyperlinks contained within the website do not create an attorney-client relationship between Bar Association of the District of Columbia (BADC) and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the BADC or any individual attorney who participates on the Bankruptcy Access to Justice referral panel.

We welcome feedback about your experience with the BADC Bankruptcy ATJ Project and with the legal services you receive, by contacting [email protected].