University of Denver

Ethics Opinions Help Increase Unbundled Legal Services and Access to Justice

IAALS Intern

As the number of self-represented litigants (or pro se litigants) continue to rise, the legal profession continues to explore alternative means of providing services beyond the traditional lawyer-client relationship. Because many litigants choose to forgo representation due to the cost of hiring an attorney, unbundled legal services are gaining more traction as a way to reduce costs while still providing valuable counsel for clients.

Recently, the Colorado Bar Association’s Ethics Committee revisited the topic of unbundled legal services and revised Formal Opinion 101 to incorporates changes made the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct allowing attorneys to represent clients in a limited fashion in litigation and non-litigation matters. In addition, Formal Opinion 101 allows attorneys to “ghostwrite” pleadings for clients who wish for assistance in that area.

By unbundling legal services, lawyers can help increase access to justice and families can get the legal expertise they need to resolve their disputes.

Mark Staines is a second-year law student at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and contributes to IAALS Online. Please direct inquiries about this post to

Mentioned Content 

Unbundling Legal Services

In partnership with the AFCC, we have developed a series of toolkits on unbundled legal services for attorneys, courts, and others.