Genoveva Meza Talbott
Why you may want to look into "unbundled legal services" for your family law matter
Don't assume you can't hire an experienced family law lawyer to help you.
Unbundled legal services (aka a la carte legal services) are a relatively new concept in today's world. Very few experienced family law attorneys offer them. But unbundled services can be a huge benefit to you if you are already in the family law legal system or think you will be. These innovative services, which Meza Talbott Law offers, allow you to hire an experienced lawyer to handle the portions of your case that you choose and for a budget that works for you. You'll save money and gain the benefit of having an attorney by your side.
Even the consultation is different!
In a traditional consultation for family law, a lawyer will provide you general advice about your situation. Still, the primary goal is to figure out if the relationship is a good match for both you and the attorney and whether you can hire the attorney for full representation. In other words, a traditional consultation is like an interview where you discuss your case a little bit and get some advice, but mainly use the "interview" to decide if you'll hire the attorney to do ALL of the work for you (e.g., full representation). If you choose to hire the attorney, you'll then have to pay a 4-5 figure retainer (similar to a deposit) for the attorney to start working on your case. The more experienced the attorney, the higher the retainer and hourly rate. And remember, the retainer is not the total fee you will pay for the attorney to handle your whole case. Given that divorces in California take an average of 2.5 years, you will end up paying much more than that retainer amount when all is said and done.
But, unbundled legal consultations are much different because they are client-centered; the main question I ask myself is, "What does the client need from me?" The goal is to give you as much help as possible in the consultation because the assumption is that you, as a client, do not plan to hire me for full representation. This could be because you cannot afford to hire an attorney for full representation, or you don't need or want to hire an attorney full time. You're comfortable representing yourself but want a little help. Regardless of the reason for seeking unbundled legal services, after an unbundled consultation, you should walk away with more - DIY steps, processes, and real practical help - not just general advice.
What about after the consultation?
After the consultation, if we agree that I'll help you with specific tasks, we will also decide on a fixed price (flat-fee) for the work right then and there. There is never a retainer that you will need to replenish later or surprise bills!
Unbundled work can be just one task or include a combination of tasks. Some common unbundled services we provide are:
● Paperwork Review: paperwork that was served on you or that you've prepared.
● Advising on a specific situation: to help you make informed decisions.
● Guidance with proper family law forms to fill out.
● Preparation and filing of court documents on your behalf.
Are you a good fit for unbundled legal services?
Unbundled legal services are an excellent option for you if you are confident in your ability to take on some legal tasks but want guidance and help along the way. It's also great if you like having a firm budget, can prioritize what you want us to help you with, and want peace of mind that you won't have to keep paying us to assist you. In other words, with unbundled legal services, you remain in control of your case and budget.
There are many benefits of unbundled legal services. We are proud to be one of the few experienced attorneys in the state to offer Unbundled Legal Services. Contact us to continue this conversation. We are here to help you every step of the way!
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