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IAALS, The Chicago Bar Foundation, the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, and the Self-Represented Litigation Network (SRLN) hosted a three-day virtual educational event that focused on the major hows and whys of supporting and implementing the practice of unbundled legal services both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Sessions offered content relevant to members of the private bar, legal aid, legal academics, judicial officers, court administrators, those involved with court-annexed projects, and other interested parties. This conference, available at no charge for registration, provided an opportunity for attendees to discuss concerns, share success stories, and explore new ideas with colleagues and peers. Our national outreach invited a broad audience to participate in the program.

This program created a forum where an array of stakeholders could share their perspectives, get better insights into collaborative roles, and learn about best practices to advocate for unbundled legal services (also known as limited scope or discrete task representation). The conference brought together those dedicated to improving access to justice so that together we can lay the foundation for the creation of strategic plans for the broader implementation of unbundled legal services.

National authorities led discussions in the following general areas: the role of unbundling in the justice ecosystem, best practices of state and local entities that are encouraging unbundling, perspectives of practitioners, the role of legal technology in changing the delivery of legal services, guidance on what the future delivery of legal services may look like, and the model rules and ethics that apply to attorneys in providing unbundled legal services.

Co-hosted by Natalie Knowlton, IAALS Director of Special Projects, and Michael Houlberg, IAALS Manager, along with Jessica Bednarz and Samira Nazem of The Chicago Bar Foundation, Sarah Glassmeyer of the ABA Center for Innovation and Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, and Katherine Alteneder, Consulting Senior Strategic Advisor for the Self-Represented Litigation Network, the program featured more than 20 presenters from across the country.

The event provided participants with strategic plans, a directory of experts and supporting materials, and recommendations for the implementation of unbundled legal services.