Resources for Attorneys: Limited Scope Representation
What is Limited Scope Representation?
- 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.
- Examples of limited scope representation include coaching self-represented litigants, giving limited legal advice, drafting and reviewing documents, gathering and preparing evidence, and even appearing in court for a portion of a case.
What Are the Rules Governing Limited Scope Representation?
- Supreme Court Rule 13 allows lawyers to make limited appearances in civil court proceedings and to withdraw by oral motion or in writing after the representation is complete. The rule includes forms for both entry and withdrawal of a limited scope appearance.
- Supreme Court Rule 11 requires that the opposing party or counsel serve all documents on both the attorney and the party while the limited scope appearance is in effect.
- Supreme Court Rule 137 allows lawyers to assist self-represented litigants by preparing and reviewing pleadings, motions, and other documents without signing the pleading or filing an appearance.
- Illinois Rule of Professional Conduct 4.2 clarifies when a lawyer may communicate with a person represented by counsel on a limited basis.
- Illinois Rule of Professional Conduct 5.5 clarifies that lawyers may counsel and coach self-represented litigants without filing an appearance.
How Can I Learn More about Limited Scope Representation?
- The full text of the rules can be found on the Illinois Courts website: http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/supremecourt/rules/amend/2013/061413.pdf
- The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice, together with The Chicago Bar Association and Foundation, the Lawyers Trust Fund and the Justice Entrepreneurs Program, have released a limited scope representation toolkit, which provides specific helpful resources for attorneys interested in offering limited scope legal representation:
- The ISBA Practice Resource Center has several resources for attorneys considered expanding their practice to include unbundled services:
- The ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services has compiled resources from across the county on the practice of unbundling legal services:
Jill Roberts, Self-Represented Litigant Services Specialist
Danielle Hirsch, Assistant Director, Civil Justice Division