Unbundling Legal Services: What It Means And How It Will Help You Get Legal Advice For Less Money
Monzerrath Ortiz Undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley
Unbundled legal services, also known as limited scope services or discrete representation, are a type of legal service-- that can be delivered online or in-person-- in which attorneys cover certain portions of a client’s case at a fixed price.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, accessibility and affordability can determine whether an individual has the legal representation and knowledge necessary to adequately navigate their case.
The “unbundling of legal services” is one important way technology is transforming the legal profession.
As a legal-tech company, Court Buddy’s priority is to match clients with experienced attorneys at an affordable rate in an effort to help bridge the Access to Justice gap.
If you are unfamiliar with the Access to Justice gap, it refers to the imbalance between those in need of legal assistance and the accessibility of legal resources.
In other words, the justice gap refers to the issue of people not being able to obtain legal representation because of the high cost that is typically attached.
The access to justice gap disproportionately affects low-income individuals, with an estimated 80% not being able to afford legal help according to Stanford University Law Professor Deborah Rhode. This issue also affects middle-class individuals, with approximately 40-60% of legal needs not being met.
We’re here to walk you through what exactly unbundling means and how Court Buddy can help fulfill your legal needs.
How do unbundling legal services work?
There is no standard way to unbundle legal services.
The process is determined on a case-by-case basis, and an attorney should first decide whether unbundling or full-service representation is necessary.
The scope of an attorney’s involvement will be mutually agreed upon between a client and their attorney.
When it comes to limited scope representation, the distribution of responsibilities between a lawyer and their client will be specific to each case.
In terms of cost, it will vary based on the amount of services you need.
However, unbundled services will usually have a standard rate.
At Court Buddy, for example, clients only pay for the legal services they require at a flat rate and without retainers.
Furthermore, there are numerous types of unbundled legal services, including but not limited to:
- Offering legal advice and opinions
- Legal coaching
- Legal research
- Drafting contracts and agreements (e.g. motions, declarations, pleadings, proposed orders and other legal forms)
- Making limited court appearances
- Advising on court procedures
- Reviewing settlements
Again, the services you receive and the total cost will depend on the case. It is important to remember that the terms of unbundled legal services should be determined by the attorney and the client once their case is evaluated.
What are the benefits of unbundled legal services?
Legal representation can often make the difference between winning and losing a case.
An example of this can be seen in landlord-tenant law. According to the New York Times, 90% of landlords in U.S. housing courts have an attorney, while 90% of tenants do not.
In 2016, New York City tenants representing themselves - most of whom were low-income - were evicted in approximately 50% of cases, while tenants with legal representation won 90% of cases.
Income should never be a barrier to legal representation.
Unbundled legal services are a key part of closing this justice gap; by offering low-cost legal assistance, these services are making representation and legal information more accessible so that no one will have to confront a legal dilemma alone.
How Court Buddy can help you
Court Buddy can provide you with reliable and fast access to the legal resources you need at a flat rate.
We offer a vast network of trustworthy attorneys with expertise in different legal fields, including real estate/housing, personal finance, DUI/DWI, criminal defense, tickets and traffic, immigration, business, and family law.
Through Court Buddy, getting unbundled legal services and connecting with an experienced attorney is simple.
Here are the steps:
1. Open Court Buddy’s website and submit the confidential Client Sign-Up questionnaire to get started. This form is for general information such as your name, email address, and phone number.
2. Next, you will be prompted to fill out one more form with more specific information about your case.
3. Upon submitting your forms, they will then be sent to a qualified attorney that will up contact you within 1-3 hours.
But what are the rates like?
Court Buddy offers low introductory rates for civil and business matters.
The standard rate for your first service will be $249, which includes a FREE consultation and your first legal service.
For businesses, the starting rate is $399. Each additional service after will cost $340 for most civil matters and $420 for most business matters.
You will always be informed about the cost of legal services in advance, and you will always know exactly what you are paying for.
Court Buddy is prepared to connect you with the resources you need regardless of your income, and committed to helping individuals, families, and businesses access legal representation and justice.
If you have questions about Court Buddy’s services, you can view our Client FAQs or call (866)653-3017 to speak to a Client Success Specialist today.
Court Buddy is here to connect you with an experienced and trusted lawyer who can help you at an affordable rate. The company assists with the management of your case and lawyer relationship. Your lawyer will assess your legal issue in a timely and confidential manner, explain why you need or do not need a lawyer, and only charge you for the legal services performed and associated out of pocket fees. This article is intended to convey general information and does not constitute legal advice.