September 21, 2017

National conclave on unbundled legal services will focus on closing national justice gap

CHICAGO, Sept. 21, 2017 — Various stakeholders in the justice system, including members of the judiciary in Colorado and elsewhere, will meet for two days in late October in Denver to explore how the unbundling of legal services might lead to improved access to justice, particularly for low- and moderate-income Americans.

Unbundling, also known as limited scope representation, is a model of providing legal services where the lawyer and client agree at the beginning of the representation that the lawyer will provide certain services and the client separately will address the remaining aspects of the case. During the past 15 years, more than a dozen state and national reports on access to legal services have advocated for the expansion of unbundled legal services.

The conference, which will take place Oct. 26-27 at the University of Denver, is a collaboration between the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services and the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System. It will be the first time in 18 years that the various stakeholders have gathered to examine the national state of unbundled services and what opportunities might lie ahead.

What:                  “Better Access through Unbundling: From Ideation to Implementation”

When:              Oct. 26-27, 2017

Where:             University of Denver
                        Anderson Academic Commons
                        2150 E. Evans Ave.
                        Denver, CO 80210

At the conference, national authorities will present best practices and model projects and how technology can be incorporated into the delivering of legal services to expand unbundling. A session will also address ways to better allow lawyers to provide unbundled services within their state rules of ethics and professional conduct.

For many years, limited scope representation has been part of pro bono services, including support for court-based self-help desks and participation in programs, such as ABA Free Legal Answers. However, new research suggests that unbundling of legal services has been used less frequently in fee-based attorney-client arrangements, despite its potential to make legal services more affordable.

The agenda for the two-day conference can be found here.

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