"Limited Scope Representation (LSR) refers to the concept of a lawyer agreeing with a client to handle only some part(s) of the client's legal matter. The term 'unbundling' is sometimes used to refer to this method of client service."—American Bar Association
Limited Scope Representation was the topic of discussion at a program sponsored by the Master Lawyers and Young Lawyers Sections at the State Bar of Michigan's NEXT Conference in Grand Rapids.
The rules governing this new legal service became effective on January 1, 2018. Areas of civil practice suitable to LSR include family law, consumer law, landlord/tenant, homeowner association law, or other situations where a person is dealing with a regulatory agency. The services that can be provided include:
- Advice tailored to the needs of the client
- Ghostwriting and document preparation
- Document review
- Explanation of court procedure
- Limited court appearance
If you think parts of your practice are suitable for LSR, more information on setting up the service is available in the SBM Practice Management Resource Center Limited Scope Tool Kit. You will find video training, an LSR discussion group, court forms, flow charts, and various resources there.
How to Market Your New Service
There are several steps you can take to market your new LSR service.
Start by adding a practice page to your website describing it and how it can help clients solve their problem. Write blog posts about the service. Generally describe the client’s responsibilities and what services you provide. Send a press release to the local papers.
Now that you have some written material on LSR, offer to speak about it to local service groups such as Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, etc.
- Send an e-mail blast announcing LSR to your present clients
- Include an article in your quarterly newsletter
- Post information on Facebook or Twitter
- Announce the service on LinkedIn with examples of what services you can provide
- Post on your page in the SBM Member Directory
As time passes and clients take advantage of the new practice, ask them how they learned about it and request reviews to be included on your website. Building a market for your new service will take time, but it can expand your business while assisting a segment of the population not adequately represented.
After years practicing law, Roberta Gubbins served as editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides writing services to lawyers ghostwriting content for websites, blogs, and articles. She is editor of The Mentor, the SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.
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