If you have not already done so, please sign up to be a part of Weld County Legal Services’ new attorney referral program.
We need to hear from local practicing attorneys who are agreeable to being on an attorney referral list. Our hope is that Unbundled Services will be a cost-effective way to assist low-income residents with their legal matters without the sometimes extensive time commitment of an attorney remaining on a case from start to finish.
Local attorneys can offer legal advice, review specific legal documents like a Permanent Parenting Plan, Separation Agreement, or even an Eviction Complaint, and offer legal advice and guidance before the client goes to Court. In the alternative, perhaps an applicant has filed a response in a case but just needs assistance with a contested Court hearing. We hope that Unbundled Services can fill that niche.
- Two phases of Referrals:Pro bono Unbundled Services: Weld County Legal Services applicants will be vetted based on low-income guidelines established by the Colorado Judicial branch. Applicants who qualify will be referred to an attorney who is accepting pro bono cases for Unbundled Services. By the very nature of unbundled services, the attorney will not be committed to representation for the duration of the case, rather, the attorney is expected to assist with specific legal issues, such as drafting pleadings, or attending a contested hearing. These services will be limited and are at the sole discretion of the attorney while assisting the client in his/her legal journey. If an applicant falls within the income guidelines, WCLS will provide the names of three attorneys in the specialty area for the applicant to contact. Once the client makes contact, the attorney’s office will contact WCLS and let them know that they are taking the case.
- Reduced Fee Unbundled Services: Weld County Legal Services applicants who do not qualify for free services but lack financial resources to hire an attorney will be referred to a list of local attorneys who agree to accept clients on a reduced-fee basis. The attorney may set his/ her reduced fees for the Weld County Legal Services client, and assist with unbundled services or full representation, whatever is agreed upon between the attorney and client.
- For an example of Reduced Rates: A participating attorney accepting Reduced Fee cases may charge $100/hourly instead of the $200 (+/- ) hourly, and accept a retainer of $1,000 instead of the normal $2,500. This may not seem like much, but this reduction in rates can truly make a difference for those who otherwise cannot afford legal services.
Other important items to note:
WCLS has available resources for the attorneys to assist applicants with unbundled services. WCLS has state-approved forms and is happy to provide them upon request:
- Notice of Limited Appearance by Attorney
- Consent to Limited Appearance by an Attorney
- Notice of Completion of Limited Appearance (when representation ends);
- Waiver of fees for attorneys accepting pro bono cases
- A proposed fee agreement detailing the limitations of “Unbundled Services” for reference
It is the intent of Weld County Legal Services that this program be a collaborative effort between WCLS and the Court Information Center to fill the gap between free Ask-An-Attorney Clinics and courtroom legal representation. We hope this program will help reduce clogged court dockets by having an attorney familiar with the legal process to aid and assist low-income clients with single, limited issues.
Please be specific as to what areas of law you practice and whether you are willing to offer pro bono, reduced fees, Unbundled Services or all three. For questions, please call (970) 310-8367.
Thank you for helping to make the Weld County Legal Community one of the most effective and progressive communities in Colorado.