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Flat Fee vs. Unbundled Legal Services

In "flat fee" arrangements, the client pays a fixed fee for something like a divorce. Unfortunately, the flat fee often includes services the client doesn't want or need. In addition, in order for attorneys to offer flat fees, they have to be priced to include a cushion for difficult cases. If your case is easy, you will have over-paid. If your case is complicated, you might not get the services you require because the attorney is being cost conscious. For many, the solution is unbundling.

Unbundling is like à la carte pricing. You decide exactly what you want and what you don't want. You can chose to perform certain tasks yourself at a great cost savings. For other things, you might want the attorney to offer advice, or maybe play a larger role as defined by you. The attorney can only perform the tasks you authorize, so you have more control over your legal expenses. For this reason unbundling often costs less than "flat fee" services.

If you're comfortable preparing your own financial disclosures, why should you be forced to pay an attorney for that? If you want an attorney to weigh-in, you have that option. If there are long periods of waiting for the other party to take action, you don’t necessarily need to be paying an attorney to wait with you. When something happens, you can always call the attorney for their input. In the unbundling model, the client has complete control over their legal costs.

If you think you might benefit from unbundling, or if you want more information, do an Internet search in your area for "unbundling" or "unbundled legal services" and ask those attorneys to explain your options.

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