So, what do I mean when I say I offer "unbundled legal services?” Simply put, I offer a way for people who cannot or do not want to pay standard lawye...
What the heck are "unbundled legal services?"
March 2, 2016
So, what do I mean when I say I offer "unbundled legal services?” Simply put, I offer a way for people who cannot or do not want to pay standard lawyer fees to represent themselves in court or a business or real estate transaction with some legal assistance.
In a traditional attorney-client relationship, the attorney represents you from the moment you retain her until she completes the work or until you dismiss her. You pay your attorney, usually on an hourly basis, to handle all of the events that happen throughout your case or transaction. In an unbundled services arrangement, an attorney provides legal services for parts of a case or transaction, and you represent yourself for all other things. You pay the attorney for only the parts of the case she handles, often at a flat fee for each service.
Here is how this might work. Say you hire a contractor to work on your home, you refuse to pay after he botches the job, and the contractor sues you for $5,000 still owed under your contract. If you hired an attorney to represent you from start to finish, at a typical hourly fee of $200 to 300 per hour, your legal fees could exceed the amount the contractor is demanding before the case is over. You would be faced with a difficult choice of either paying your lawyer (with no guarantee of success) or paying the contractor for his unacceptable work.
With unbundled legal services, you have a third alternative. You can hire me to help you with the more difficult parts of the case or to coach you on how to handle it yourself. For example, I could prepare an answer to the contractor’s complaint or a motion to dismiss the case and tell you how to file the documents. When it comes time for you to appear in court, I can give you pointers on what to say and do. If you have to attend mediation or the contractor wants to settle the case, I can give you advice on how to handle that and draft or review a settlement agreement for you. By hiring me to work on only parts of the case, you limit your costs while still receiving some legal assistance.
Unbundled legal services may not be the ideal arrangement for every legal problem. If you can afford to pay a lawyer to represent throughout your case or transaction, having the guidance of an experienced lawyer is generally your best bet. But if you cannot afford full legal representation, or simply want to save on legal costs, using unbundled services is better than going it alone.
If you have a legal problem and want to learn more about unbundled legal services, call me at 248-571-5855 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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