What is an Unbundled Attorney?
Let’s begin with what an unbundled attorney is. In Clark County, attorneys may represent clients in an unbundled capacity. What this means, is that the attorney is only representing the client for one very specific task or service. For example, the attorney can be representing you on just writing one motion, or appearing at one single hearing.
Before moving forward with an unbundled attorney, it’s important to review the pros and cons:
PRO: Most often, an unbundled attorney will be charging you a flat fee for one particular service. Therefore, making it is less expensive. If you are unable to afford to retain an attorney for your entire case, you can have someone that you pay a flat fee for, to represent you in a court hearing, or to write a motion, for example.
CON: The downside of hiring an unbundled attorney is that generally this attorney will be appearing on a motion or a pleading that has been written by someone else. Therefore, this attorney will not be well-versed and knowledgeable on the entire history of your case. In complicated cases, it can be a disadvantage to you to have someone come in last minute, who doesn’t know the entire history of your case.
CON: Another thing that might happen is that often times, you don’t get to meet that attorney until the time of your hearing. It’s extremely important to be on the same page as your attorney and to feel comfortable that they are representing your best interest. When meeting for the first time at your hearing, you’ll have no rapport and no prior communication; therefore it makes things a little more difficult.
If you are in a situation where money is tight, and you are not able to retain an attorney for the entire process of your case, I would caution you, and I would give you three pointers:
- Number one, be sure that the retainer agreement that you sign is very specific as to what services will be performed, and for what amount. Keep in mind that the attorney will only be providing services for certain tasks, and will not be your attorney of record for all the matters in your case.
- The second thing is, try to meet that attorney before you get to your scheduled hearing. It is important for you to have communication with that attorney, however slight, however small, prior to walking into your hearing.
- And third, give that attorney notes on specific information on your case such as dates of marriage, children’s ages, a brief history of your case, as well as any issues that you would like that attorney to address in the hearing before the judge.
Although I understand that hiring attorneys can be expensive, I am not a big proponent of unbundled attorneys. I feel that the most important thing for your case is to have open communication with your attorney. I feel that your attorney should know your entire case in order to be able to serve you most effectively. They should be in constant communication with you in order to better assist you in representing you and winning your case.
I do understand that sometimes money constraints make it difficult or impossible to hire an attorney for your entire case. If you have to, or want to go the route of an unbundled attorney, just be very careful that the retainer agreement is very specific as to the services that will be provided and the fee that will be paid for each and every service.
If you are in need of legal representation, please do not hesitate to contact our office for a consultation. Finding the right attorney is a crucial step in reaching a favorable outcome, and it is not a decision to be made lightly. Schedule a consultation by contacting our office at (702) 998-1188, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by scheduling a consultation online.