Last week, the American Bar Association passed a resolution supporting efforts of attorneys and of supporting institutions, such as bar associations and the judiciary, to increase utilization of limited scope representation as a means of increasing access to justice. Also known as “unbunding,” limited scope representation is when an attorney and client agree that the attorney will represent the client for certain parts of a case, with the client handling the rest. Examples include hiring a lawyer just for a consultation or hiring a lawyer just to prepare pleadings for a case. Arkansas’s limited scope rule permits an attorney to limit the scope of her representation if it is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informed consent.
Unbundling works to increase access to justice by making legal services affordable for clients who have some reasources, but may not be able to pay for full representation. The Arkansas Access to Justice Commission unanimously supported passage of the resolution.