Unbundling, or limited scope representation, is an alternative to traditional, full-service representation. Instead of handling every task in a matter from start to finish, the lawyer handles only certain parts and the client remains responsible for the others. It is like an à la carte menu for legal services, where: (1) clients get just the advice and services they need and therefore pay a more affordable overall fee; (2) lawyers expand their client base by reaching those who cannot afford full-service representation but have the means for some services; and (3) courts benefit from greater efficiency when otherwise self-represented litigants receive some counsel.
Lawyers' Use of and Attitudes Toward Unbundling
Results from a 2017 ABA Survey
In 2017, the ABA surveyed lawyers about their use of and attitudes toward unbundled legal services. Over 34,000 private practitioners from 25 states participated, while actual response rates vary from question to question.View - Results
About This Resource
The site is not intended to assist individuals with their particular legal problems. Individuals with legal problems are encouraged to discuss those problems with a lawyer. Lawyers are available for consultations from lawyer referral services. Those who cannot afford a lawyer for civil matters may be able to obtain a lawyer through legal aid or pro bono.
Review Current Rules
When reviewing materials in the Unbundling Resource Center, please be advised that many states have not revisited ethics opinions on limited scope representation since adopting revised ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c). Consequently, some ethics opinions may rely upon outdated rules. Court cases may also reference outdated rules. To best understand limited scope representation in a particular jurisdiction, please review current rules, in addition to any other resource.
This resource is a work in progress. If you would like to contribute additional materials or report a broken link, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.