The New York Times published A Nation of Do-It-Yourself Lawyers written by judges on the subject of unbundling legal services. The judges describe what is meant by unbundled legal services and why it is a good thing in these paragraphs:
But this is only a beginning. It is essential that we promote other efforts to close the “justice gap.”
One such effort involves the “unbundling” of legal services. Forty-one states, including California and New Hampshire, have adopted a model rule drafted by the American Bar Association, or similar provisions, which allow lawyers to unbundle their services and take only part of a case, a cost-saving practice known as “limited-scope representation” that, with proper ethical safeguards, is responsive to new realities.
Traditionally, lawyers have been required to stay with a case from beginning to end, unless a court has excused them from this obligation. Now, in those states that explicitly or implicitly allow unbundling, people or businesses can hire a lawyer on a limited basis to help them fill out forms, to prepare documents, to coach them on how to present in court or to appear in court for one or two hearings.
I belong to a lawyers listerv where the subject of alternative fees and unbundling legal services comes up fairly often. We see this as the future of legal services, as empowering clients.
What seems to be truer is that the vast majority of clients show no interest in knowing about alternative fees or unbundling legal services. They watch television and hear about hourly fees and anything else confuses them. Until we educate clients about fees and their alternatives, the future seen by the New York judges remains out of reach and I think client frustration shall continue and may even increase.
Everyone, please, follow the link below to my older attorney fees articles and educate yourself.
I am not sure that I like what I think I see in the plan. That it might not provide the best services may not mean much in this current economy, but will clients miss what they do not know about? Do we need not to find a better way to educate clients about fees on this side of the Atlantic?For the first time divorcing couples will be able to compare on one website a range of options from both the cheap online providers, as well as more traditional family law firms. Prices range from a DIY divorce at £69, up to a full solicitor managed divorce for £249.