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Pro Se, No Way: Increasing Market Share and Access to Justice Through Limited Scope Representation. Amy Dunn Johnson Vincent Morris. Pop Quiz: Question #1. Of the following countries, which one ranks the lowest on the World Justice Project Civil Justice Index for access to civil justice?

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pro se no way increasing market share and access to justice through limited scope representation

Pro Se, No Way: Increasing Market Share and Access to Justice Through Limited Scope Representation

Amy Dunn Johnson

Vincent Morris

pop quiz question 1
Pop Quiz: Question #1

Of the following countries, which one ranks the lowest on the World Justice Project Civil Justice Index for access to civil justice?

 Iran

 Ukraine

 Sierra Leone

 United States

slide3

The U.S. ranks 65th out of 100 countries in access to and affordability of civil legal services and is the lowestamong industrialized nations.

Source: WJP Rule of Law Index 2014

pop quiz question 2
Pop Quiz: Question #2

A 2011 Arkansas study on self-represented unrepresented litigants in family law cases. The study indicated that what percentage of these cases had at least one unrepresented party?

 54%

 68%

 71%

 99%

cases with unrepresented litigants
Cases with Unrepresented Litigants

Source: Chanley Painter, Exploring the Problem of Self-Represented Litigants in Arkansas Civil Courts (2011)

pop quiz question 3
Pop Quiz: Question #3

For 2013 graduates of UA and the UALR Bowen School of Law, what percentage are currently employed in jobs that require a JD?

 62%

 74%

 88%

 91%

slide7

As of March 2014, 62% of Arkansas law school graduates were employed in jobs requiring bar passage.

Source: American Bar Association Section of Legal

Education and Admissions to the Bar

poverty in arkansas
Poverty in Arkansas

According to the 2010 Census:

  • The total population of Arkansas is 2,915,918
  • 724,000 people, or 25% of the state’s population qualify for legal aid
three avenues to court
Three Avenues to Court
  • Legal aid
  • Pro bono attorneys
  • Self representation
legal aid in arkansas
Legal Aid in Arkansas
  • There are two legal aid programs in Arkansas:
    • Legal Aid of Arkansas (LAA)
    • Center for Arkansas Legal Services (CALS)

LAA

CALS

slide11

Each year, these two programs receive about 30,000 calls for help

  • Approximately half of all qualified families are turned away due to lack of resources
pro bono service in arkansas
Pro Bono Service in Arkansas
  • 8,500 licensed attorneys in Arkansas
  • In 2012, 67% of licensed attorneys reported having performed pro bono service
  • In 2012, 1103 private attorneys volunteered to take pro bono cases through legal aid
it s not just poor people
It’s Not Just Poor People

“Less than 4 out of 10 moderate income people turn to the legal system for their legal problems. More than a quarter of them do nothing.”

Source: American Bar Association

the new reality
The New Reality
  • We will never be able to provide lawyer for every poor person, let alone everyone of modest means
  • Proliferation of online affordable fixed-fee services such as Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom. “DIY” effect.
  • Increasing availability of technology that can automate routine aspects of legal practice
how can the legal marketplace adapt
How Can the Legal Marketplace Adapt?

Ark. R. Prof. Conduct 1.2(c): “A lawyer may limit the scope of the representation if the representation is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informed consent.”

unbundling what it does
Unbundling: What it Does
  • Makes legal services affordable to persons of modest means
  • Affords attorneys the opportunity to acquire previously unprofitable work that is time-limited and higher in volume
unbundling what it is
Unbundling: What it Is

Lawyer provides representation only with regard to a clearly-defined portion of the client’s needs.

Examples:

  • Document drafting or review
  • “Ghostwriting” pleadings for a specific case
  • Limited appearances
  • Legal coaching/strategy
  • Conducting legal research
unbundling what it is not
Unbundling: What it is NOT
  • A substitute for full representation when the matter is too complex or the client to unsophisticated
  • Representation until the retainer is exhausted
  • Second-class service
  • Pro bono or “low” bono work
unbundling common concerns
Unbundling: Common Concerns
  • Malpractice risk
  • Judicial willingness to honor limited appearances
  • Communication between client and opposing counsel when representation ends
  • Ghostwriting for a pro se litigant who is appearing on behalf of an estate or entity
unbundling best practices
Unbundling: Best Practices
  • Establish good intake process
  • Conduct conflict checks
  • Provide client education materials
  • Keep records of interactions with client
  • Explain unbundled services to full-service clients
  • Make sure unbundled legal services are covered by malpractice insurance
  • Confirm completion of matter in writing
  • Provide good customer service
unbundling in arkansas
Unbundling in Arkansas
  • Arkansas Access to Justice Commission Task Force on Self-Represented Litigants
  • ABA-funded Pilot Project on Limited Scope Representation for Uncontested Divorces with Children
  • “Pro Bono in a Box” Clinics
resources
Resources
  • ABA Resolution on Unbundling: www.arkansasjustice.org/node/192
  • Stephanie L. Kimbro, Limited Scope Legal Services (2012).
  • Arkansas Legal Services Partnership Website: www.arlegalservices.org
  • Arkansas Access to Justice Commission Website: www.arkansasjustice.org/limitedscope
contact us
Contact Us

Arkansas Access to Justice Commission

1300 W. 6th Street, Room 110

Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 492-7175 | fax (501) 682-9421

www.arkansasjustice.org