Here is an idea that might simultaneously assist in the adoption and expansion of forms, promote unbundling, and bring the lawyer referral services groups into better addressing access issues.
It is simple. Court forms should include in the general instructions for each form a short explanation of unbundling, and a statement that unbundling assistance with the completion of the form is available by referral to a lawyer through the local lawyer referral service.
- Make the forms less threatening
- Improve the quality of the forms, when such assistance was provided
- Help the bar make the transition to including unbundling in their service mix
- Help ensure that the lawyer referral service provided this option
- Help litigants with access.
Looks like a potential win-win-win to me. Please share with people who might help make this happen.
We include this statement in the instructions of the proposed divorce kit, under the question of “Do I need a lawyer?”
“Try to speak to a lawyer about your legal rights before you turn in your Original Petition for Divorce. Some lawyers will help you with part of your case so you are only charged for the services you ask for. Other lawyers will only represent you if you hire them to handle every step of the case. A lawyer who you hire for your whole case may charge you a retainer, or a fee, at the very beginning of the case. If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer, contact the State Bar Lawyer Referral Information Service at 1-800-252-9690. If you or your child is a victim of domestic violence, you can get legal help by calling 1-800-374-4673.”