Work with a lawyer for part of your case

A lawyer can handle some parts of your case while you handle others. This is called limited-scope representation. Limited-scope representation can be a great way for you to have legal help with your case while keeping costs down.

Benefits to limited-scope representation

Compared to hiring a lawyer to help you with all of your case (full-representation), limited-scope representation can help you save money. Your lawyer can focus on things you can't effectively do yourself and leave other more time-consuming tasks to you. You can also have greater control over your case.

Compared to being your own lawyer (self-representation), limited-scope representation can save you time and energy. The lawyer can identify potential problems or hidden complications early on, so you can avoid making a costly mistake.

Decide if limited-scope representation is right for you

When deciding if a limited-scope arrangement is right for you, you should:

  • Discuss your case with a lawyer in-depth, including areas that you want to handle yourself. Otherwise, you might overlook something that is legally important.
  • Decide if you are willing to take on responsibility for those parts of the case you will handle on your own. If you instruct your lawyer not to take certain steps, you will be responsible for the outcome in those parts of the case.
  • You can just consult a lawyer and get legal information and advice about your case when you need it.
  • You can hire the lawyer to represent you on certain issues in your case (like child support or custody) while you do the rest yourself.
  • You can hire the lawyer to prepare the forms and other court documents but file them yourself and represent yourself at the hearings.
  • You can hire a lawyer to coach you on how to represent yourself at the court hearings and help you prepare the evidence that you will present in court.
  • You can hire a lawyer to help you with the more complicated parts of your case, such as discovery and legal research while you do the simpler tasks yourself.

Courts approve of limited-scope representation because they want to encourage people to get as much legal help as they need to protect their rights. They know that you will do a better job of following proper court procedures and presenting the important information if you have the help of a lawyer during the more complicated parts of a case.

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