Resources for Legal Communities

Availability & Accessibility of Legal Services

Unbundled Legal Services

  • Unbundling Legal Services: Options for Clients, Courts & Counsel: In partnership with the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the IAALS Honoring Families Initiative developed a series of guides and toolkits on unbundled legal services, each tailored to a specific family justice system stakeholder.
    • Lawyers: This FAQ-styled toolkit is a resource for family law practitioners who are interested in learning more about unbundled legal services and/or implementing this service delivery model into an existing practice.
    • Court Leadership: The support of the courts is essential in order for unbundled legal services to take hold, and this guide can assist chief justices, chief judges, and other court leaders in helping close the justice gap through hands-on encouragement and support of this service delivery model.
    • Non-Legal Professionals: Self-represented litigants in family court come into contact with a variety of non-legal professionals, such as custody evaluators. This guide aims to help these family justice system stakeholders understand unbundled legal services and how to leverage this model in order to best serve their clients.
    • Consumers: This toolkit aims to educate the self-represented litigant with an understanding of the legal services options available through unbundled legal services, so that litigants are empowered to locate and take advantage of affordable legal services.
  • The American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services Pro Se/Unbundling Resource Center is designed for all justice system stakeholders, and contains information and guidance on unbundled legal services and related issues in self-representation. Subpages provide practitioners with targeted information on discrete tasks:
  • The American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services issued An Analysis of Rules that Enable Lawyers to Serve Self-Represented Litigants. The white paper explores state rules of conduct and procedure, and other laws that enable attorneys to provide limited scope representation.
  • The Justice Café by The Manely Firm, PC is a growing practice model, offering à la carte services for $75 an hour to family law litigants, including research, advice, document drafting, and representation in various settings.

Innovative Billing Structures

Legal Aid & Pro Bono Services

  • The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono & Public Service and the Center for Pro Bono maintains a comprehensive listing of state pro bono reporting requirements. The site also includes a variety of resources for individual attorneys and bar leaders interested in increasing and regulating pro bono activity in their jurisdiction.
  • New York has made great strides in pro bono services, and the New York State Courts Access to Justice Program 2015 Report details the myriad programs through which state pro bono and other volunteer providers are working to expand access.
  • Probono.net provides pro bono and legal services attorneys with resources that are regional, national, and international in scope. The organization also directs individual attorneys to volunteer opportunities in their state and hosts a blog dedicated to connecting justice communities.

Non-Attorney Models of Legal Services Delivery

  • The Washington State Bar Association is a pioneer in this area, having authorized and regulated Limited License Legal Technicians (LLLTs) as non-lawyer providers of discrete and limited legal advice. The Bar’s LLLT website can serve as a resource for other jurisdictions exploring this service model; it also maintains an up-to-date directory of practicing Technicians.
  • In fall of 2015, the American Bar Association Commission on the Future of Legal Services published an Issue Paper Concerning New Categories of Legal Services Providers that concisely summarizes various models of providing litigants with legal services and law-related services that jurisdictions have implemented.
  • In February 2016, the American Bar Association House of Delegates approved Resolution 105 enumerating Model Regulatory Objectives. Proposed by the Commission on the Future of Legal Services, the Objectives seek to guide states in regulating traditional and non-traditional legal services models.
  • Rebecca L. Sandefur and Thomas M. Clarke, through the Roles Beyond Lawyers Project, have begun the dialogue on creating a framework for evaluating programs in which non-lawyers provide assistance traditionally offered only by attorneys.