Unbundled Legal Services
Unbundled Legal Services is also known as limited scoop representation. Using unbundled legal services can help to lower the cost of legal services by limiting the scoop of work and time that an attorney spends on the situation. In many states use of unbundled services is seen as making legal help more accessible for low and middle-income individuals.
What do I need to know about Unbundled Legal Services?
Unlike traditional attorney relationships were the attorney typically bills by the hour in unbundled legal services attorney may charge a flat fee for legal services. Flat fee services may include such things as preparing legal documents, providing legal coaching and planning for an individual that will be representing themselves pro se. In some cases, the client handles their situation up to the hearing or trial phase at which time the engage an attorney on a limited scope for the trail or hearing phase of the legal matter.
Family law is an area of law in which unbundled legal services has been very successful. In Texas, the Supreme Court published the Report of the Texas Commission to Expand Civil Legal Services. The report identifies unbundled legal services as a way to help close the justice gap. It is likely that unbundled legal services will increase because of the affordability of services and through the use of technology that makes these services more accessible.
It is critical for the individual or client to fully understand the services that will be provided under the unbundled legal services agreement as well as what services are not provided. Often time attorneys that offer unbundled legal services will have educational pamphlets and material to help the client through the process. It is important that the client is prepared to take on the tasks that are not covered by the unbundled legal service agreement. This will require clear communication with the attorney.