Law Practice Management

Two Chief Justices Have One Word of Advice for Solos: Unbundling

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Unbundled legal services are one way to close a justice gap that is growing as more people find themselves unable to afford a lawyer, according to the chief justices of the California and New Hampshire supreme courts.

Writing in the New York Times, Chief Justices John Broderick Jr. of New Hampshire and Ronald George of California note that 41 states have adopted an ABA model rule that allows lawyers to take on only part of a case. The practice is known as “limited-scope representation” or unbundled legal services.

With proper ethical safeguards, lawyers offering unbundled legal services—particularly solo practitioners–may be able to help some people who would otherwise have never hired a lawyer, they say. “For those whose only option is to go it alone, at least some limited, affordable time with a lawyer is a valuable option we should all encourage,” they write.

“We need members of the legal profession to join with us, as many have done, in meeting this challenge by making unbundled legal services and other innovative solutions—like self-help websites, online assistance programs and court self-help centers—work for all who need them.”

Related coverage:

New York Times: “The Recession Begins Flooding Into the Courts”

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