“Workshare” for Lawyers and Their Clients

A core concept in Limited Scope Representation is the non-traditional way of dividing work between lawyer and client.  In full-scope representation, the lawyer typically handles everything.  With limited scope representation, the client earns a big discount by handling a significant portion of the work in the legal matter.

The key to effectively and ethically shifting this dividing line is clear communication.  You need a written fee agreement and a document that memorializes the list of tasks that the lawyer will–and will not–perform for the stated fee.  The “will not perform” list is as important as the list included in the stated fee because it serves as a check list for the client and documents the agreement between them.

A good example of one of these checklists is included in the Appendix to Start and Grow Your Limited Scope Practice:  How to Make Money Serving the “Do It Yourself” Client.  There are many ways to implement such a checklist in the retainer process and to incorporate the checklist as a tool to support the representation agreement.  Whichever options you use, just make sure you have a clear, written memorialization of the way work is shared in the LSR context.

Who knows?  When the LSR client sees the list of tasks that are not included, they may even ask you to take on more for a higher fee!


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