The dawn of the internet era has transformed the do-it-yourself mentality. DIY is no longer just a possibility. It’s the reality. Consumers are gleaning insights from their smart devices, tackling all of their problems before turning to “subject-matter experts” for answers.
Even those with legal problems are turning to the world wide web for answers before consulting a legal professional. The number of SRLs in the United States is growing dramatically. However, some Self-Represented Litigants aren’t going at it completely alone. Limited scope representation is growing in populating across the country, and even in Illinois.
Illinois Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2 allows lawyers to “limit the scope of representation if the limitation is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informed consent.” Limited scope representation may also be called unbundled or a la carte legal services.
In limited scope representation, lawyers don’t handle every aspect of the case. For these types of arrangements, lawyers typically handle the most crucial or most confusing parts of the case, just on a limited basis. Others dealing with limited scope representation give lawyers more control, granting them permission to prepare client evidence and/or appear in court on their behalf in special circumstances.
As limited scope representation becomes more common, legal aid organizations and bar associations are providing resources to both lawyers and clients on how to collaborate with one another.
This October, the Chicago Bar Association (CBA) announced the creation a Limited Scope Referral Panel program. The idea was to help litigants find attorneys who offer limited scope representation services under one roof.
The referral panel will comprise a list of Illinois attorneys who practice the following areas of law:
- Landlord / tenant
- Consumer / collections
- Domestic relations
The free listing of attorneys will be accessible to litigants at courthouses in the Chicagoland area. The Chicago Bar Association will also post the listing on its website.
At this time, the CBA is accepting applications from attorneys who provide limited scope services to clients in the practice areas listed above. If you or a colleague may be interested, please contact Juli Vyverberg via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.