State & National Updates

Sample Retainer Agreements

Program Profiles

Thinking About  Unbundled Law

Conference Materials

Related Publications

Conference Background and Agenda



The first national conference on "unbundled" legal services took place on October 12-14, 2000, in Baltimore, Maryland. Workshop topics and many of the materials distributed at the conference are available.  

Other points of interest:
Presenters - A listing of background and contact information for the 67 presenters covers a broad range of expertise and perspectives and includes some of the most prominent voices in the country on this issues

Audio tapes of these workshops are available. 

List of Attendees - Contact information for colleagues working on or interested in the issues surrounding discrete task representation

Planning Committee and Co-Sponsors


Unbundled Practice and Pro Bono Opportunities-This workshop focused on various ways that the provision of unbundled legal services can be rendered pro bono by attorneys to increase access to justice for low-income people, with emphasis on coordinating with court-sponsored assisted pro se projects, working with mediation projects, and traditional pro bono programs.

Presenters: Pam Ortiz, Sharon Goldsmith, Rachel Wohl

Coaching, Counseling & Ghostwriting: Lamaze Meets the Practice of Law- A hands-on workshop complete with checklists, forms and retainer agreements to ensure that your unbundled practice is efficient, economical and doesn't run afoul of ethical considerations. Included practical tips on where to draw the line and how to spot the Unbundled Client from Hell.

Presenters: Sue Talia, Lee Borden (see also www.divorceinfo.com, copyright 2000 divorceinfo.com)

Lamaze Meets the Practice of Law by Sue Talia

Ethics 2000 - Outcomes and Recommendations on Limited Representation Issues  The ABA Center for Professional Responsibility sponsors a Commission on the Evaluation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, or “Ethics 2000,” is charged with: 1) conducting a comprehensive study and evaluation of the ethical and professionalism percepts of the legal profession; 2) examining and evaluating the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. This workshop offered an update of the status of the Ethics 2000 initiative with commentary on issues specifically related to nonprofit legal service providers.

Presenters: Will Hornsby, Alan Houseman

Re-engineering Your Law Practice: Use the Web to Develop an Unbundled Law Practice – A “nuts and bolts” session for private practitioners and others interested in ideas on how to approach re-thinking the solo and small firm practice. The presenters will offer a variety of approaches and options including participation in on-line networks.

Presenters: Greg Siskind, Peter Jaffee, Robert Cleaves, Kenneth Carson, Adam Gutride

Reengineering Your Law Practice (see also www.visalaw.com)
by Greg Siskind
Using the Internet to Enhance Your Practice
by Kenneth Carson

Unbundled Legal Services and Family Law: Make it Work in a Holistic Context – An in-depth look at a private practice approach to working with  the other professionals to address the needs of the “whole client”.

Presenter: Ron Supancic  

The Future of Elder Law and Unbundling 

Presenters: Stuart Cohen, Stephanie Edelstein, Mary Helen McNeal, Mary O’Byrne

Successful Models of Unbundled Practice: Pioneers in the Field –  A “show and tell” session from some of the pioneers in the art of client coaching, transforming a litigation practice to a mediation-based practice, looking at collaborative and holistic approaches as well as developing client libraries and negotiating with clients for “unbundled services.

Presenters: Johnpeter Weldon, Barbara Shea, Forrest Mosten, Lee Borden (see also www.divorceinfo.com, copyright 2000 divorceinfo.com)   

Unbundling the Courts - Court Rules, Trends, and Issues -

Presenters: John Greacen, James McCauley, Lynda Shely

Unbundling Ethically: Hypotheticals for Lawyers/Court Personnel
By Lynda C. Shely, Director of Lawyer Ethics, State Bar of Arizona

A National Look at the Status of Pro Se Litigation and Court Planning – The American Judicature Society reports on the status of pro se court initiatives around the country with a detailed look at the challenges and successes in Florida and Delaware.

Presenters: Judge Judith Kreeger, Kate Sampson, Julie Dvorak, 
Calvin Scott

In Too Deep  - Part I
by Charles Slanina, Esquire
2000 Delaware State Bar Association. All rights reserved.  Webmaster@dsba.org

Lawyering Over the Web: Impact of the Internet on Law Practice – This session will take a broad look at the changing legal services delivery system with a detailed look at four innovative approaches -  Americounsel.com – Legalopinion.com – USlaw.com – MyLawyer.com

Presenters: Robert Cleaves, Elliot Eder, John Jenkins, Richard Granat, Will Hornsby, Peter Jaffe, John Marencik

Improving the Delivery of Affordable Legal Services Through the Internet: A Blueprint for the Shift to a Digital Paradigm By William Hornsby  - November 1999 Staff Counsel, ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services  whornsby@staff.abanet.org  

Are We Making a Difference?  Measuring Outcomes for Limited Services - Project for the Future of Equal Justice - A number of legal services providers and funders are developing outcome measures to quantify and analyze the results of services provided to clients.  Measuring outcomes raises a variety of questions that become particularly difficult in the context of unbundled legal services, such as defining what a “favorable” outcome is, evaluating whether an outcome would have been different with more traditional legal representation, and contacting clients to determine the outcome.  The presenter will describe the design, outcome measurements and the results they obtained from the Hotline Outcomes Assessment Study, followed by discussion about possibilities for using their measurements or instruments in other contexts.

Presenters: Julia Gordon www.equaljustice.org

Is Less More?  Dispatches from the Front Lines of Limited Lawyering- This session describes two models of limited lawyering programs in law schools, both seeking to expand access to legal services by providing law students with opportunities to engage in a limited range of lawyering - The "QLaw" Community Outreach Project and the Public Interest Practicum. The session will consist of a demonstration and appraisal of some core challenges of teaching and practicing limited lawyering. Experienced students, law teachers and legal services lawyers will talk out common concerns arising from providing a limited,  'unbundled' service. How useful, and how limited, is 'limited lawyering' as a service for low-income  clients? What benefits and risks arise from offering students an experience other than full representation, whether litigation or transactional work? What do students learn from leaving the law school and meeting people different both from themselves and from their 'expected' client? Are any of these experiences 'clinical' in the traditional sense? We hope to suggest some surprising benefits, clear difficulties, and tentative standards for implementing similar programs elsewhere.

Presenters: Alex Scherr, Carolyn Kaas, Susan Nofi-Bendici, 
Michele Lang Palter.

Is Less More? Alexander Scherr, Assistant Professor of Law & Director of Civil Clinics contributed to this article.  

Public Consumers of Legal Services: Partners as Well as Clients – The often forgotten partner in the “unbundling” of legal services. Which clients and which cases can and should be handled pro se? What obligations do we have to consumers in an evolving delivery system? What tools are at hand  (or need to be developed) to assure that the changing legal practice best serves the public?

Presenters: Mike Millemann, Sue Talia, Ayn Crawley

Public Consumers of Legal Services by Sue Talia 

Where Does the Practice of Law Begin in a Changing Information Environment?

Presenters: John Greacen, Alan Houseman, Kenneth Carson

The New Marketplace: Lawyers Bidding on Legal Cases – A look a new approach to matching  clients with lawyers – a “dot com” model and a nonprofit approach. The session will provide ideas for possible private – nonprofit partnerships.

Presenters: Wayne Moore, John Jenkins, Adam Gutride, Michael Cane

Creative Approaches to Lawyering—Preventive Law, Collaborative Law - Holistic Law-This workshop presents three emerging approaches to legal practice that focus on the use of diagnostic evaluations, planning, alternative dispute resolution, and partnering with other professional services.

Presenters: Johnpeter Weldon, Ron Supancic, Tom Barton, Robert Rhudy

Law Schools and the Changing Practice of Law-This workshop discussed the need for law schools to respond to current trends in the practice of law including changes brought about by technology, demographics, and the ever decreasing access to justice of low and moderate income individuals.  It will 

(i) discussed ways that law schools can educate students about alternative approaches to making legal services available, including alternatives to full representation models;

ii) discussed the role that law schools might play in rigorously assessing the comparative effectiveness of various models; and (iii) examine some of the challenges to law schools making these changes.

Presenters: Jeanne Charn, Deborah Howard, Alizabeth Newman, 
Sophie Elisabeth Bryan

Mediation in Family, Workplace, Business and Community Issues
This workshop describes the expanding role of mediation and other alternative dispute resolution approaches family, employment, commercial, and other areas, presented by experienced practicing lawyers and mediators.

Presenters: Rachel Wohl, Louise Phipps Senft, J. Michael McWilliams, Lorig Charkoudian, Marvin Johnson

Dispute Resolution Online - Models, Trends and the Roles of Lawyers

Presenters: Forrest Mosten, Clyde Long, Charles Brofman

Reaching Low and Moderate Income Person Over the Web: Recommendations to the Open Society Institute

Presenter: Richard Zorza  

Information Flow for Self Help and Advocate Portals--Flowchart submitted by Richard Zorza

Telephone Advice and Intake - Evolving Models and Ethical Obligations 
From basic telephone legal advice begun in the 1980’s to a broad range of integrated legal service offering now possible through a mixture of phone and internet access, the face of legal hotline services is broadening at a fast pace.  Such rapid changes bring with them new problems associated with the ethical obligations owed by legal services providers.  This program will consider a number of the more recently changing models of unbundled advice and intake systems in relation to the ethical obligations that have or may arise as a result of their operation.

Presenters: Alan Houseman, Neil Ruther, Wayne Moore, Michael Cane

Welcome to the Information Highway by Michael A. Cane

Lawyers Roles in the Mediation Process-This workshop will discuss and analyze the various roles performed by lawyers in mediation and skills required for such services—e.g., mediation, legal counsel, drafting, review of draft agreements, representation in mediation, etc.   The workshop presenters are outstanding lawyer-mediators and mediation trainers.

Presenters: Louise Phipps Senft, Franklin Garfield

Reluctant Bedfellows: Integrating Unbundled Practice with Courts and Bar Associations -

Presenters: Sue Talia, Judge Elaine Moriarty, Judge Edward Lynch

Workshop Overview  by M. Sue Talia

The New Wave: Visions of Unbundling – A free ranging look at the myriad possibilities now and in the future for a transformed legal system. Serving coffee and counsel – anytime access to legal help – substituting  “bytes” for “atoms” in the legal arena – law firms as information businesses -  consumer driven trends in a digital world – new roles for non-attorneys in assisting  the public to gain access to legal help.

Presenters: Ralph Warner, Jeffery Hughes, Richard Granat

Are You and Your Practice Ready to be Unbundled? A practical “how to “ session by one of the pioneers in developing an “unbundled” law practice. The presenter will discuss negotiating with the client using a ”menu of services approach, how to determine if this type of practice suits you, how to set up and manage an “unbundling” law office plus tips on marketing to clients.

Presenter:  Forrest Mosten

Unbundling of Legal Services and the Clinical Experience – This program will start with a discussion of the definition of unbundling, concentrating primarily on issues relating to clinic students and to legal services organizations and the courts. The program will also review a number of different models for unbundled practice in these contexts.

Presenters: Barbara Oro, Dana Harrington, Nathaniel Nichols

Myopia to Discernment
: Helping Students See the Forests and the Trees 
by Nathaniel Nichols

Opening Up Legal Practice on the Web: An “Open Code” Approach to Web-based Legal Practice-The workshop will summarize an “open code” approach to web-based legal practice support that is being pursued at AmeriCounsel (www.Americounsel.com) and raise some of the challenging technical and strategic issues involved. We will also review the recommendations to the ABA regarding an open source standard for the legal community.  A growing community of commercial and not-for-profit entities are using the web to deliver interactive systems that make practical legal knowledge more accessible to those who need it, both in self-help and advocate-mediated contexts. These efforts will be greatly aided by evolving shared standards of practice systemization, whereby disparate practice tools (online interviews, document assembly, intelligent checklists, expert systems, etc.) and disparate ways of structuring case information can be made interoperable. A common framework for describing the structures of data and rules that underlie today’s emerging legal technologies will help catalyze an explosion in useable online resources, which will further enable radical improvements in the affordability and accessibility of legal services.

Presenter: Marc Lauritsen

XML: Will the Law Tag Along? by Alan J. Rothman and Marc Lauritsen [Copyright 1998; A version of this article appeared in the National Law Journal, February 1, 1999]

Developing and Managing Statewide Unbundled Legal Services Delivery Systems-This workshop will discuss the process of stimulating the development of unbundled legal services in a state, and how such services can be incorporated in such systems as legal aid, lawyer referral, court-provided assisted pro se, and others to improve and expand civil legal assistance to low and moderate income persons.  The workshop presenters include senior state IOLTA program directors (past presidents of the National Association of IOLTA Programs), hotline directors and persons with experience managing unbundled services.

Presenters: Robert Clyde, Kari Deming, Robert Rhudy and Gabrielle Hammond 

State Bar of Michigan Access to Justice for All Task ForceService Delivery Subcommittee Work Group B -- Unbundling Report April, 2000

Ethics and Professionalism: A Comparative Analysis of Unbundling Issues in Different Contexts- This panel will provoke a lively debate by canvassing the ethical and professional issues raised by limited legal assistance, analyzing how different contexts might affect those issues, and raising the explicit question, “Are more unbundled services necessarily better?”.  The contexts we will consider include court-based assistance programs using lawyers and nonlawyers, legal services offices, law school clinics and private law offices charging a fee for the limited service. We will review briefly the existing ethical rules that touch upon unbundled services, and then turn to ways in which the professional rules should account better for different contexts.  Beyond what is permissible, what policy considerations should guide our resolution of broader issues?  Is it desirable to seek ways to expand the provision of limited assistance at the courthouse, to allocate scarce legal services resources to unbundled services?  In the law school clinic setting, what is feasible and desirable from a pedagogical point of view?  In the private setting, is it desirable to encourage and permit the private bar to expand its provision of limited services, presumably at reduced fees?

Presenters: Mary Helen McNeal, Russell Engler, Paul Tremblay