Limited Assistance Representation (LAR), also referred to as “unbundling” enables attorneys to assist clients on a limited basis, carving out a mutually agreed upon scope of representation. The attorney agrees to handle specific tasks or issues and the client will be responsible for other elements of the case.
The LAR attorney might provide only coaching and education regarding the legal issues being addressed. An attorney may appear in court with the client for some or all of the case. In other cases, the attorney may provide assistance with drafting court documents, financial statements and agreements. By unbundling the array of services often necessary to handle a case from start to finish, a client benefits from legal counsel while still participating in the case as he or she is capable. Parties who might not be able to afford representation for their entire case may now benefit from legal advice and save a substantial amount of money on legal fees.
LAR is designed to allow attorneys a great deal of flexibility regarding how fees are paid as well. Some services will be billed on a flat fee basis, others may be paid on a pay-as-you-go basis, and where retainers are still indicated they are likely to be drastically reduced. While not all cases are appropriate for LAR, it provides an alternative to the estimated 60% to 80% of self-represented litigants who are unable to qualify for free legal assistance and can’t afford full-service legal representation.