top of page

Our Client Centered Approach  

 Scales of Justice

Unbundled Legal Services, also known as limited scope representation, is a client-centered approach that provides high quality legal services by dividing all the legal work in a matter into smaller tasks and then allowing the client to decide which tasks the attorney completes and which the client completes themself. This allows the client to control what services the attorney provides, which is typically those that are most pressing and warrant the skills, expertise, and intervention of a licensed legal professional. As a result, Unbundled Legal Services are usually more affordable than traditional attorney representation. However, it may not be appropriate for everyone’s situation. 

 

Unbundled Legal Services has grown in popularity as data shows a rising number of people do not hire an attorney for their legal matters. Most research suggests that this is due to the costs of traditional legal services, but other factors may be involved. One study found that 80% of Oregonians seeking a divorce were self-represented.¹ 

 

Unbundled Legal Services helps clients be a better self-represented litigant and improves court efficacy. In the January 2018 Oregon State Bar Bulletin, Presiding Clatsop County Judge Paula Brownhill encouraged lawyers to coach self-represented litigants, saying, “without a lawyer’s help, self-represented litigants often come to court nervous, unprepared and many times unable to present evidence to prove their allegations… By unbundling their services, lawyers can help litigants where they need it most -- with legal advice, strategic decisions, witness preparation, filling out forms or preparing judgments.”² 

 

Unbundled Legal Services often provides legal services for those previously not considering the help of an attorney. Although it can be appropriate for any budget or client depending on the nature of the case, Unbundled Legal Services is most exceptional in its ability to increase access to justice for Oregonians.  

 

With Unbundled pricing, clients benefit from the certainty of knowing what the price will be for the solution to their legal problem. Under the traditional attorney model, there is less certainty knowing exactly how much you will end up spending. 

 

At Navigate Legal Services, we prefer the Unbundled approach because it increases access to justice for our clients and allows us to focus on results. If we think your situation may be better suited for traditional attorney representation, we will let you know and point you in the right direction. For more information about going Unbundled and whether our services are right for you check out the links below. 

1.  Oregon Judicial Department, Oregon Circuit Courts Self-Represented Parties (2016). 

2.  Mark Johnson Roberts, Unbundling Legal Services: New Trial Court Rule Supports Access to Justice, Oregon State Bar Bulletin, (January 2018).

 

Pros and Cons of going “Unbundled”

 

Pros:

  • More Affordable: Avoids “attrition warfare” and also saves money for other professionals/experts that may be needed in your case

  • No Retainers: Unbundled Legal Services are pay-as-you-go and as-needed which do not necessitate upfront retainers

  • Greater Certainty over Total Costs: Each task has a flat fee agreed upon by the attorney and client 

  • Increases Access-to-Justice: Provides legal services for those previously not considering the help of an attorney

  • More Control and Flexibility over Case: Self-Represented Litigants choose exactly what they want done, usually with options and tiers of service

  • Creates More Knowledgeable, Empowered, and Involved Self-Represented Litigant: Working alongside the attorney as a “team” to get questions answered, formulate case strategy, and explain rules and procedures helps clients in their case

  • High Quality and Client-Centered: Services provided by attorney are high quality and follow the same rules and obligations under the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct, and with additional emphasis on providing them in a client-centered way

 

Cons:

  • Complexity of Case: Matter may be too complex for Self-Represented Litigants to take on certain tasks themselves 

  • More Responsibility in Matter: Self-Represented Litigants require more responsible for the tasks they do themselves, such as mailing documents, filing documents at the courthouse, or attending their own status conferences

  • Capability of Self-Represented Litigant: Self-Represented Litigant may not have the capacity or ability to do certain tasks on their own

  • Buffer in Case: Case may require at least one party to have an attorney to create a buffer between the parties to deescalate any conflict

 

Types of Unbundled tasks we provide: 

 

  • Document Drafting

  • Advice / Coaching / Case Strategy

  • Review Documents

  • Draft and Analyze Settlement Proposals

  • Legal Research

  • Negotiation / Settlement/Hearing / Trial Prep

 

Other Resources/Articles:

bottom of page