If you’ve hired a lawyer for a legal issue, you may have heard the term “full representation.” If you haven’t, here’s a quick definition: full representation is when a client hires a lawyer to represent them for their entire case, from filing initial paperwork to appearing in court. Sounds ideal, right? Not always.
How full representation works
Typically, your lawyer takes the reins and decides what your case requires–often without consulting you. And when it comes to billing, they’ll typically charge using the conventional hourly model. While it’s great to have a lawyer that can take care of the entire legal process, if they’re charging you hourly, that means they can bill you for every call, email, and meeting your case requires. It’s an expensive way to work. In fact, in a survey we conducted of over 280 respondents who hired lawyers for their divorces, 30% reported that they were surprised by a bill they received during the process.
The alternative: limited scope
In recent years, this alternative method of representation has been gaining popularity for the increased financial freedom and autonomy it offers clients. Simply put, this method gives you the freedom to hire a lawyer for individual steps of your legal journey instead of committing to one lawyer to manage everything from start to finish.
How limited scope works
As a client, you’ll get more control over your case. For example, if you’re getting divorced and feel confident that you can file the initial paperwork on your own, but don’t want to represent yourself in court, working on this model could mean you can hire a lawyer for court representation and do the rest yourself.
The goal of limited scope is to make legal services more accessible. In the United States, the average hourly attorney fee is $391. Because divorce depends on a number of factors, there’s no average total case cost, but if you’re dealing with a contested case, it could take hundreds–if not thousands–of hours, which means tens of thousands of dollars.
How we do limited scope at Marble
Our process starts with a consultation with a lawyer, where you’ll explain your situation and they’ll help you understand what services your case might require. They’ll likely recommend 1-2 services to move forward with. This doesn’t mean these are the only services required in your case; just that they’re the most logical ones to start with. No two cases are the same, so most good lawyers that work on this model will start by recommending the services they’re sure you need and wait to see how your case evolves before they suggest next steps.
Limited scope is also often easier on your wallet. Because each service has an upfront fee, you know what each step of your case costs in advance–and never have to worry about a surprise bill. Plus, before each step, we’ll give you a call to fill you in on what we’re proposing as a next step, and we’ll only work on services that you approve.
Financial flexibility and more control over your case are just a couple of benefits of opting for limited scope. If you’re ready to get started, you can schedule a call with our team today.