Unbundled Legal Services [Guest Post]
We thank the Lawyerist.com team for this guest post.
The legal market around the world is changing rapidly. Clients are consistently seeking ways to get the legal services they need in a cheaper, faster and more user-friendly manner. To remain competitive in the market, your law firm must adapt to these changes. One adjustment to make now is to begin providing unbundled legal services.
The Benefits of Offering Unbundled Legal Services to Your Clients
Unbundling simply means offering your legal services “a la carte,” whether via individual services or through custom-made packages based on a client’s unique needs. Unbundling your services gives you the opportunity to reach clients you might not reach otherwise, including those who were considering representing themselves.
Benefits of unbundled legal services include:
- Additional income for your firm
- Reduced risk of malpractice due to limited scope services
- Decreased time and resource investment
Common Unbundled Legal Services
Nearly any service you provide within a full representation can be unbundled and performed separately. Some typical unbundled legal services include:
- Document review
- Dispute resolution
- Legal guidance and opinion
- Contract and agreement drafting
- Court procedure and courtroom behavior advising
- A la carte legal documentation (e.g., a simple will)
How to Navigate Unbundling in Your Firm
Just like anything else, there are smart practices to adopt when considering unbundling. You’ll want to define the scope of your representation, stick to what’s agreed on and always educate your client during the process.
Define the Scope of Representation
According to the American Bar Association,
One of the most important components for unbundling is clearly defining the scope of representation for the client.
Although it’s possible for you to create a limited-scope agreement for each service, it’s best to create this agreement on a case-by-case basis for each individual client.
Stick to the Agreement
It’s easy to want to continue with a case even after your limited-scope work is complete. However, it’s in your best interest to stick to what’s agreed on for both you and your client. Not only does this protect your time and your client’s budget, but it also respects your client’s wishes.
Educate Your Client
Take this opportunity to educate your client prior to getting started. Make sure they understand the limitations that come with unbundled services versus full representation and what might be required for their case. Honesty is always the best policy, even with a client on a budget.
Learn More Ways to Improve Your Law Firm Today
Unbundling your services is only the beginning of improvements you could make for your firm. To learn more about your firm’s improvement opportunities, take the Lawyerist Small Firm Scorecard™ today.