Unbundled Legal Services in the New Normal
A lawyer providing unbundled legal services works with clients only on certain legal tasks instead of taking on the entire case, based on what the clients can afford and need help with the most. Unbundled legal services—also called limited-scope representation—are becoming a more popular and less expensive way to help people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer for the entirety of their case. Lawyers can offer unbundled services in their practice to increase their clientele and also to provide help to many who are unable to pay for full-scale legal help. While this model has increased in popularity over the years, there continue to exist several challenges with its implementation.
This report details the key discussion points from the Unbundled Legal Services in the New Normal conference held in 2021, a partnership between IAALS, The Chicago Bar Foundation, the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, and the Self- Represented Litigation Network. The event focused on how the pandemic helped normalize digitization and the use of technology for legal service providers generally.
The report provides a fresh take on how to advance unbundled legal services nationwide, including:
- Insights on establishing an unbundled practice.
- When and how to integrate technology tools in a practice, including how to identify opportunities for productization of legal services.
- Important considerations to ensure that an unbundled practice adheres to professional ethics obligations.
- Considerations for courts on becoming essential partners to unbundled practitioners and leaders in supporting the widespread implementation of the unbundled model.