Limited scope representation, a legal arrangement blessed by the Illinois Supreme Court for transactional work in 2010 and for litigation in 2013, provides attorneys the ability to represent clients for only part of a matter. Limited scope gives clients help with just what they need, at a more affordable price, and potentially brings pieces of business to attorneys that would not otherwise have arrived at their doorstep.
So how have attorneys in Illinois put limited scope to work, and what are the potential advantages and drawbacks? Michael Brennan, a Grayslake-based sole practitioner who bills himself as The Virtual Attorney (see the October IBJ for more), sees an opportunity for lawyers to develop a completely different type of product.
"It offers new ways to do things and new ways to structure a practice," he says. Partly due to services like LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer, "The consumer base is becoming knowledgeable before they even approach an attorney," he adds. "They're coming in with a rough draft [of a document].
"Embracing that new reality is key for attorneys in 2015. Realizing it's there is the first step to realizing that the way to stay ahead in the marketplace is to embrace what these folks are doing, saying, 'Great, I'm happy you're coming in with your contract. Let me figure out the pros and cons [of the client's own work to date].'" Find out more in the December Illinois Bar Journal.