Limited Scope Representation Practice Resources
Every year in Illinois, hundreds of thousands of people go to court without any legal help. The vast majority would rather have an attorney—they simply can’t find or can’t afford one. Many people in this group make too much to qualify for the limited legal aid and pro bono resources available, but too little to pay for traditional market rate legal services. Others may not realize that affordable legal services exist and are easier than ever to access, thanks to limited scope representation.
Limited scope representation, also called unbundling or a la carte legal services, is designed to give lawyers and their clients more flexibility. In a limited scope representation, the lawyer takes on some part of a case while the litigant handles the rest, allowing the lawyers to focus their expertise on discrete issues and tasks. This can drive down costs for consumers and give them more flexibility and control over their legal matters. It can also bring in new clients who may be unwilling or unable to pay for full representation but can afford something less.
The Illinois Supreme Court has adopted a series of rules to clarify the permissible and ethical uses of limited scope representation in Illinois trial courts. The rules are included below, in addition to many other tools and practical resources designed to help lawyers understand and incorporate limited scope representation into their practices.