In a traditional family law case, the client retains an attorney to provide legal services on all aspects of the case from start to finish. However, there are some cases where the parties are self-represented but may only need the assistance of counsel for a limited purpose.  In those circumstances, the relationship between the attorney and client are limited to a specific task as agreed upon known as “limited-scope representation” or “unbundling”.


The most familiar type of unbundling is the consultation where a client wants advice only but there are several legal services that can be unbundled.


Below is a list of examples:


  • Ghostwriting
  • Drafting pleadings, briefs, declarations or orders
  • Document review
  • Legal Research
  • Negotiating
  • Making limited appearances
  • Advising on court procedures and courtroom behavior
  • Coaching on strategy or role playing
  • Preparing exhibits
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Organizing discovery
  • Drafting contracts and agreements
  • Providing legal guidance or opinions
While there are several services available, keep in mind there are some areas of family law that require continuous representation for the best outcome such as complex child custody disputes. Therefore, the client needs to specify his or her needs when you contact an attorney.


This arrangement is also a cost effective way for the client to advance his or her case by focusing on the contested issues. The client receives the benefit of counsel without the expense of continuous representation. However, it is important that both sides respect the limitations of the relationship and be prepared if it evolves into a more traditional attorney-client relationship.
If you are going through a divorce or require the assistance of a family law attorney but are concerned about the cost of hiring an attorney, limited-scope representation may be a good option. Please contact the Law Office of Shannon R. Loeser to get more information about this unique service.


Shannon R. Loeser, Esq.
Certified Family Law Specialist
28202 Cabot Road, Suite 520
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
Tel: (949) 392-5050