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Unbundling Legal Services Defined
 

Unbundling Legal Services Defined

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A briefing on what are "unbundled legal services", sometimes called "Limited Legal Services" and how this approach can serve consumer needs and the DIY consumer.

A briefing on what are "unbundled legal services", sometimes called "Limited Legal Services" and how this approach can serve consumer needs and the DIY consumer.

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  • Understand changing consumer patterns and how this shapes the market.
  • Increase in pro se. Family matters- some courts 80% at least one party is self-represented. Clogging courts- Opportunity here for unbundled legal services- Judges want pro se parties to have the benefit of legal advice and legal guidance.

Unbundling Legal Services Defined Unbundling Legal Services Defined Presentation Transcript

  • Unbundling Legal Services
    • Briefing on “Unbundled Legal Services” Richard S. Granat, J.D. CEO, DirectLaw, Inc.
  • Introduction and Background
    • I Operate a Virtual Law Firm in MD and DC that offers unbundled legal services over the Internet in Family Law matters.
    • I am the Founder and CEO of DirectLaw , Inc., a company that provides a virtual law firm platform to solos and small law firms.
    • Co-Chair of the eLawyering Task Force of the Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association.
  • Unbundled Legal Services Defined
    • What are “unbundled legal services?”
      • Breaking down roles of attorney into discrete tasks.
      • Often called – “Discrete Task Representation” or “Limited Legal Services.”
      • “ Use your lawyer only for what only your lawyer can do.” – Woody Mosten
  • Some History About This Movement
    • The work of Woody Mosten – “Unbundling Legal Services” (LPM/ABA 2000).
    • The work of Susan Talia in “Unbundling Legal Services” in a family law practice.
    • Focus is on office based practice.
    • New focus is delivering unbundled legal services online.
  • Why all the interest now?
    • New consumer attitudes towards lawyers.
    • Access to Justice Movement.
    • Courts are filled with pro se litigants.
    • The ascendency of the Internet is a driving factor.
  • New Generation of Consumers
    • G.I. Generation: Born 1900-1945
    • Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964
    • Gen X: Born 1965-1977
    • Gen Y: Born:1978-2000
    • Reclassification:
      • The Internet Generation: Born: 1970-2000.
      • First Waves- Coming of Age Now: 36 years old.
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/13898469@N00/3098748832/ What do consumers of legal services want?
  • The new “Consumer”
    • First Place to check for alternatives is the Net.
    • Seek Options and Comparison Shopping
    • Try Before They Buy.
    • Buy only what they need.
    • Convenience.
    • Efficiency.
  • What do consumers of legal services want? Prepared to sub optimize Dislike hourly rates Benefits of technology passed to them Certainty of cost Not need face-to-face A “good enough” service Lower price Different value proposition Convenience and speed To compare
  • The Latent Market for Legal Services
    • Consumers can’t afford lawyers; consumers can’t afford $125-$150 an hour.
    • Consumers afraid of lawyers. Trust issue.
    • Dislike hourly rates.
    • Consumers perceive of lawyers as high risk.
    • Millions of middle class consumers are turning away from using lawyers.
  • The Range of Legal Services
    • Some legal problems required complex analysis and complex skills.
    • Other legal problems are relatively easy to resolve. If you have a headache, you take an aspirin, you don’t call a brain surgeon.
    • Lawyers are trained to treat every problem as if it were brain surgery.
  • A Small Law Firm is a Retail Business
    • Many solos and small law firms are a small retail business providing services to a range of clients around legal problems that are not very complex.
    • Many of these clients, want a less costly and standardized approach to resolving their legal problems.
    • By not offering “unbundled legal services” the law firm is not meeting the needs of these clients.
  • 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.
  • Reality checks
    • How much legal work can people realistically do for themselves?
    • Clients might be misled.
    • Clients might make mistakes.
    • How much can technology realistically help?
  • Conclusion: So Who Benefits?
    • Solos and small law firms who want to compete against established law firms.
    • Clients benefit in a number of ways.
    • Established law firms who want to maintain market position and market share and acquire new clients.