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Delivering Unbundled Legal Services Over the Internet
 

Delivering Unbundled Legal Services Over the Internet

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These slides are from the ABA Annual 2012 presentation by Will Hornsby, Richard Granat, and myself.

These slides are from the ABA Annual 2012 presentation by Will Hornsby, Richard Granat, and myself.

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  • Marc explain the significance of web-enabled documet automation and how it could work. Doc automation has been around for many years, primarily a desktop app whose focus is on the professional user NOT the direct consumer/SME

Delivering Unbundled Legal Services Over the Internet Delivering Unbundled Legal Services Over the Internet Presentation Transcript

  • Delivering Unbundled LegalServices Over the Internet 2012 ABA Annual Meeting Stephanie Kimbro Richard Granat Will Hornsby
  • Overview Introduction to Unbundling Legal Services Ethics Considerations Best Practices Use of Technology to Deliver Unbundled Legal Services Unbundling and the Future of Legal Services
  • Introduction to UnbundledLegal Services What are unbundled legal services? The DIY client The market for unbundled services
  • What are unbundled legal services? The lawyer breaks down the tasks associated with a legal matter and only provides representation to the client pertaining to a portion of their legal needs. The client accepts the responsibility for doing the footwork for the remainder of their legal matter until it is completed. Also termed limited scope representation (LSR) or discrete task representation.
  • Legal Services a la Carte 5
  • Is there a market forunbundled services? We live in a DIY society. Consumers understands that when a product or service has a DIY component, it tends to be more affordable. This is seen as an acceptable tradeoff for doing a little or a lot of the footwork. In the current economy, many lower to moderate income individuals are more than willing to do the extra work to save money on their legal needs Online legal service companies, such as LegalZoom, have educated consumers about DIY legal services.
  • People do not know about it Familiarity with Unbundling 0% 1% Very familiar 5% 6% Familiar 18% Somewhat familiar 71% Not at all familiar Not sure Refused
  • But they like it when they find outabout it Talk to a Lawyer About Unbundling Very likely 2% 0% Somewhat 20% likely 34% Somewhat 12% unlikely Very unlikely 32% Not sure Refused
  • Economic Benefits Expands the market for legal services as price is reduced. Enables the lawyer to develop a relationship around a limited task which can lead to a larger engagement. Reduces “friction” and “risk” in selecting and working with an attorney. Generates legal fee revenue where there maybe none. 9
  • Benefits of Unbundling For the public:  Greater access to the legal system for individuals of lower to moderate means.  Lessens burden on court system handling pro se litigants without guidance For the professional:  Attorneys may provide an alternative form of legal services to a different client base  Tap into the latent market for unbundled , online legal services
  • Meeting Client Needs Understanding the needs of your clients enables you to create a service mix that is responsive to a range of client needs at prices they can afford. You don’t have to provide full scale legal services to every client who wants to use your services.
  • Why consumers choose it  Control  Affordability  Convenience  Value billing  Less intimidating  Better lawyer access
  • Un-Bundling as a Response:Reducing Friction 13
  • Unbundled Services Ghostwriting Drafting pleadings, briefs, declarations or orders Document review Conducting legal research Negotiating Making limited appearances Advising on court procedures and courtroom behavior Coaching on strategy or role playing Preparing exhibits Organizing discovery materials Drafting contracts and agreements Providing legal guidance or opinions Providing direction to resources such as local and state rules “Collaborative lawyering”
  • Ethics of UnbundlingRule 1.2(c) – Limited Scope RepresentationRule 1.1 – Duty to Make InquiryRule 1.3 – Zealous AdvocacyRule 3.3 – Candor to the Court
  • Rule 1.2(c) Reasonable under the circumstances Informed consent Adopted by 41 states  Some require writing  Important not to exceed scope of agreement
  • Rule 1.1 Duty to inquire –  Nicols v. Keller
  • Rule 3.3 Candor to the court  States split on ghostwriting  No need to identify yourself  Need to identify documents where done by a lawyer  Need to identify that you prepared the documents
  • Best Practices Making the decision to unbundle Limited Scope Engagement Agreements Educating Your Client Termination of Limited Scope Arrangement
  • Educating the Client Checklists and detailed instructions Keep Digital Records of your Interactions with the Client
  • Limited Scope Agreements Provide client with a handout listing steps involvedin the process of the case.Compare the full service representation to thelimited scope services that the client will bereceiving from the attorney.Make sure the client is aware of the risks that maybe involved in their case by not choosing full-service representation and help them to do arisk/benefit analysis for this decision.List exactly what services will not be provided tothe client as well as listing their responsibilities.  Avoids misunderstandings or false expectations
  • Terminating Representation Send the client an email letter or other communication confirming that the limited engagement has come to an end This lets the client know that this is the end of the services that they paid for
  • Use of Technology to DeliverUnbundled Legal Services  On-Line vs. In-Office Practice  Document Automation and Assembly  Virtual Law Firms  Using technology to streamline the unbundling process and prevent malpractice
  • The Power of On-Line Service Digital technology is a powerful dis- aggregator, enabling consumers to pick and choose what they want, and how and where they want it. Example is the music industry and how digital technology changed the value proposition for music. iTunes “Unbundled” music for all of us.
  • The Leverage of anOn-Line Service Powerful disaggregator enabling consumers to pick and choose what they want, and how and where they want it. Apple changed the value proposition by reducing the need to purchase albums. You can increase your reach to web- savvy clients throughout a state. You can use target marketing more effectively on the Internet. You can advertise on Google for a single unbundled service.
  • Document Assembly & Automation Good example of increasing leverage by automating a service and delivering it over the web. Once automated, the service can be delivered over a wide area. Lends itself to delegation to a paralegal for more routine aspects increasing leverage. Automating document assembly for online clients Intuitive online forms Purchased directly by the client after attorney review or in conjunction with additional legal advice
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Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse aliqua. cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. STAR T   Next question Next question   Next question Next question   Next question Next question   Next question Next question FINIS H You dont just ‘fill out’ an automated document – you create it. The answers you enter create a custom legal document, built from a library of state-specific and relevant legal text, that is tailored to client’s specific facts.
  • Web deliveryCustomer journey  Sophisticated process to deliver law over the web  Telephone Advice can be added.  Each document can be reviewed and approved by the lawyer in charge.  Price is based on value add as distinguished from time spent which can be very little. Businessmax movie
  • Intelligent Calculators Examples  Child Support Calculators  Bankruptcy Calculator  Bankruptcy Debt Calculators  Alimony Calculators  Alimony Recapture Calculator  Spousal Support Calculator
  • What is a virtual law firm? A virtual law firm is a professional law practice that is located online through a secure client portal and is accessible to both the client and the attorney anywhere the parties may access the Internet. Other terminology: virtual lawyering, VLO, virtual law firm, web-based or web-enabled law practice, online law practice, delivering legal services online. Username: Password: LOGIN
  • Ethics of a Virtual Practice Rule 1.14 - Client Competence Rule 5.5(b) – UPL Bona Fide Office Rule 1.6 - Confidentiality
  • Future of Unbundling in Legal Services Fixed priced legal services delivered online will become a dominant pattern. Movement from passive law firm web sites to interactive virtual law firms. Almost all solos and small law firms will have some form of a “client portal” in the next five years. Law firms delivering personal legal services to individuals will increase “unbundled” legal service offerings. Pressured by change in consumer behavior and competitors like LegalZoom.
  • Resources Virtual Law Practice – How to deliver legal services online, by Stephanie Kimbro published by ABA/LPM, 2010 Limited Scope Legal Services: Unbundling and the Self-Help Client, by Stephanie Kimbro published by ABA/LPM, 2012
  • Other Resources ABA Unbundling Resource Center http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/delivery/delunbund.html ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services white paper, “An Analysis of Rules That Enable Lawyers to Serve Pro Se Litigants,” http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/delivery/downloads/prose_whit e_paper.pdf ABA’s Section of Litigation, Handbook on Limited Scope Assistance, a Report of the Modest Means Task Force (2003) http://www.abanet.org/litigation/taskforces/modest/report.pdf ABA ELawyering Task Force http://www.elawyering.com
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