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Types of Representation

There are different levels of work a lawyer may do to help you.

  • Full Representation: This is the highest level of service that a lawyer provides. They will manage your legal issue from start to finish, accept legal documents on your behalf, and provide counsel throughout the life of the legal issue you are facing. There are three common ways lawyers are paid for full representation:
    • Hourly — A lawyer charges a specific amount for each hour or partial hour spent on your legal issue. You may be asked to make an advance payment, called a retainer, that will go toward your fee.
    • Flat Fee — A lawyer charges a fixed amount upfront for their services. A lawyer is required to refund any unearned portion of a flat fee.
    • Contingent Fee — An arrangement in which a lawyer receives an agreed-upon percentage of the amount recovered on the client’s behalf.
  • Unbundled Services & Limited Representation:
    • Unbundled legal services are for people seeking only certain discrete services from a lawyer. When lawyers talk about the full bundle, they typically mean:
      • Gathering facts
      • Advising the client
      • Discovering facts of the opposing party
      • Researching the law
      • Drafting correspondence and documents
      • Negotiating
      • Representing the client in court
    • But maybe you only need representation during a single hearing. Or maybe you need help drafting a document during one phase of a case. Contracting with a lawyer for unbundled legal services, or limited representation, allows you to address financial limitations while still receiving expert counsel at critical junctures of a legal matter.
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