Unbundling Legal Services
a new path offering affordable legal services in BC to your rescue!
So, what’s the deal with unbundled legal services? “Unbundled” aka limited scope retainer, is not just a term used to describe cable tv and phone services, but is also a term used to describe the delivery of legal services, especially in my own area of legal expertise, family law. Keep on reading to find out!
Traditional Approach towards obtaining legal services
Traditionally, lawyers retained by a party in any legal proceedings and/or disputes assumed responsibility for everything until the matter was settled, either by agreement or court order. This would mean that, throughout the proceedings, the retained lawyer and/or counsel will be responsibility for filing or defending legal proceedings, (called “being on the record”), sending and receiving documents and correspondence, to and from, other counsel, attending all court appearances etc.
Retaining counsel also meant being asked to provide a monetary retainer. An inconvenient, and not so insignificant lump sum; with no guarantee usually given that the retainer will be sufficient to settle matters, and often not. As the cost of legal services has continued to escalate, this traditional model of providing family law services has become simply unaffordable for any. but the wealthiest. So what options do we have out there?
Alternative affordable legal services and support
With legal aid, you will undoubtedly have access to a range of free services that may help you, provided that your problems are in the scope of their rules, and your net monthly income and assets etc must be within their prescribed range. Thus, there is a high possibility that you might fall out of the prescribed net.
Access Pro Bono
This is a platform which enables those in legal dispute to seek legal advice from the lawyers throughout in B.C. by allowing you to book a 30-min free initial consultation. With the limited time frame, the practitioners will merely be able to briefly guide and assist you in preparation, or in your matter. However, the downside would be that you will be charged after a 30 min consult! But what you can then do, would be to go for unbundled legal services which is economically friendly as mentioned herein below.
When parties have no other alternative, they choose to represent themselves, sometimes referred to as self-represented litigants (SRL's). But even SRL's still need access to effective, and affordable legal advice and assistance to navigate an intimidating, and complex, family law system.
Unbundled Legal Services
As mentioned above, lawyer’s intervention and/or guidance is required. Taking into account the affordability to hire a lawyer to deal with the legal matters/issues is the main reason and motivation for providing individuals with the option of using a different, “unbundled” model, to access my family law services. What I refer to as the “pay as you go model”, which can offer significant advantages.
You will be representing yourself and taking direct control of matters. You simply rent my time and support with a retainer that is not the size of the regular retainer. You will be doing most of your own legal work, not me. When the retainer is used up, you can decide if you’re able to carry on with the matter on your own or provide anther retainer for continued assistance. This will be your decision to make!
Types of Legal Services offered
The range of services offered vary from case to case and includes: helping you to understand your legal rights and obligations, answering questions, assisting you to appear or respond to legal proceedings filed by your spouse or counsel, drafting documents and correspondence, as well as assisting you with a variety of issues, including
It is good to mention to anyone who chooses this option; the more effort, commitment, and work you assume, the less you will pay for my services. The added bonus you can terminate your lawyer’s services easily by not renting any more time!
Since a lawyer is not retained as your counsel, any and all documents and correspondence will need to be sent to you rather than your lawyer, another legal expense you can avoid.
In addition, because you are representing yourself, you have the right to deal directly with your spouse’s counsel, whose services are being subsidized by your spouse.
There’s also another potential indirect advantage to effectively representing yourself, if your spouse has retained counsel. Since your spouse, no doubt, dislikes the fact they are paying heftier lawyer bills than you, this fact alone can often encourage a sudden, and much more reasonable settlement strategy on the part of your spouse and counsel.
If you happen to be involved in a family law matter, and you’re concerned about legal costs, (and who isn’t), check out lawyers that offer unbundled family law services.
Finally, just think how satisfied you will be to know that YOU are taking control, while paying less!