Unbundled Legal Services
How ULS Works
“Unbundled Legal Services” describes a way that lawyers can provide assistance to people in a limited manner. Rather than retaining a lawyer who has responsibility for, and needs to take control of, the whole divorce process, you can contract with a lawyer to provide a limited, discrete service. The kinds of unbundled services lawyers provide can really run the gamut. As provided by my office they include: Preparing legal papers for a client; Reviewing already drafted court orders or agreements to assure that they address the client's needs and concerns; Educating and advising a client about their legal divorce; Acting as an advisory attorney in support of a client who is mediating their divorce and Providing appropriate referrals to lawyers and other professionals (therapists, appraisers, accountants, etc.). So long as you understand the limited basis of the lawyer’s services and agree to work with them only in connection with this specific, limited part of your case, the Bar’s ethical rule allow the lawyer to work with you in this way. This is a very new development for lawyers and really has only come into common usage in the last dozen or so years.
The benefits of ULS are that you can receive the counsel of a lawyer on a project basis. This person can meet with you for an hour or two and let you know how “The Law” would relate in your situation. They can provide different approaches and suggest questions you can ask to make sure your interests are being addressed. The lawyer can also review written agreements that have been made to make sure they cover your interests and concerns.
ULS allows you to use a lawyer in exactly the way you need. If you need full service representation, that is available to you. If you just need a consultant, with ULS, that’s available to you as well.
How I Work
I am very pleased to offer Unbundled Legal Services to clients. After many years of teaching, I know how to explain the law and its ramifications in a clear way. I don’t just spit out “The Law,” but rather explain the reasons for a particular legal rule. I like to explain not only the “what” but the “why” so people can understand the legal context in which they are operating.
It usually takes me about an hour-and-a-half to explain Washington Family Law and how it may impact your particular situation. When I am acting as a mediator, I honor and value colleagues who can explain the law and the consequences of people’s decisions in a way that does not damage the cooperative work that you have been doing - and as a consulting lawyer, I will offer the same services.