Thursday, August 24, 2017

Cost Cutting Unbundling

Attorneys can charge $350 or more an hour for their time and let me tell you – they do and they charge clients in fractions of a minute.  Attorneys also charge for paralegal hours at various rates, pretty much starting out at $125/hr., again in fractions of minutes.  The legal billing machine is primed to turn over those hours and hit the bank before close of business for the day.

The State of California allows court users to determine for themselves which tasks they wish to pay a law firm to accomplish.  Court users can appear at court, do their own legal research, prepare, and process their own paperwork, or alternatively, retain the flat fee services of a legal document assistant to prepare and process court documents on their behalf.

A legal document assistant can court coach a client, provide published procedural, rules of court, and “how-to” information, prepare documents, and provide many other non-attorney legal services.  A legal document preparer cannot provide legal advice directly related to a client’s case or situation, review paperwork, and customarily does not appear at hearings or other court scheduled matters.

With Unbundling, a court user can use the services of an attorney for consultations, answer, and explain legal questions, review paperwork, appear at hearings or other court matters, stand-by at court if needed, and perform valuable legal coaching.

 “Unbundling” or Limited Scope Representation is not new, although it is rarely publicized.  Attorneys are slow to the gate and LSR is a relatively new concept (if you go by attorney years).   And, let’s be honest, an attorney prefers a $15,000 retainer fee rather than a small retainer to cover a few hours of legal assistance.

Limited Scope Representation (“Unbundling”) is an alternative that helps people keep legal costs down while taking ownership of their own cases and their finances.

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