Thursday, January 04, 2007

Unbundled Legal Services

Law.com posted an article on the increasing use of "a la carte" or "unbundled" legal services in some jurisdictions. Traditionally, one was either represented by a lawyer or wasn't--laws and rules prevented "behind the scenes" advice and assistance. This new model recognizes that such actions have gone on and are perhaps a necessary part of today's legal marketplace. In an unbundled model, the lawyer is retained for certain pieces of the legal matter and not the entire issue. For instance, if I want to evict a tenant, I can go to a lawyer to have the papers drawn up and explained, but then I can appear at court without an attorney since I'll need to be there anyway as a witness, provided there are complex legal matters at hand.

In some ways, I heartily endorse this step. In an ideal world, I'd actually like a more formal legal system, back to the (UK) days of robes and wigs and a bifurcated legal profession of solicitors and barristers. Knowing that the glut of lawyers and the growth of litigation prevents such pipe dreams from having a chance of coming to pass, I still think the profession needs to evolve.

3 Comments:

Blogger marylee said...

hyou would look great in one of those white wigs...really.

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the issue with the uk system is it limits who can become a barrister, you have to do a year of pupilage at one of the four inns of court, all of the inns are located in london, so you have to be able to afford to work for free for a year and live in a very expensive city. with that being said, i would really like to be a barrister, not for the wigs, but because the solicitor has to do all the pleadings, the barrister just does the trial work, great fun.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Dee said...

Unbundled legal services sounds great but I worry about the pitfalls. Even in a simple case, perhaps a straight out eviction, there can often be surprising issues brought to light. I'd worry about an untrained person sudenly being confronted with an unexpected legal issue.

As far as divorces go, the do it yourself divorces are complex, if only because they try to cover all issues and situations. We've had some people who have wished to do this themselves with a little legal advice and honestly it would be more difficult and more time-ridden to go over the papers, answer questions than it would be to do it normally.
Still, all in all a good idea.
As far as the powdered wigs go, well, if anyone wants to wear one that's okay, but I'm going to snicker!

11:37 AM  

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