Mediate BC Releases Results of Unbundling Surveys

One of the initiatives included under the Lab umbrella is Mediate BC’s Family Unbundled Legal Services Project. Our friends at Mediate BC have just released summaries of the project’s surveys of family lawyers, family mediators and family members who have encountered the family justice system to deal with their separation and divorce issues. In addition, Mediate BC’s blog is publishing a series of posts analyzing the interesting responses from each group starting with family lawyers.

The first post in this series describes the demographics of lawyers responding to the survey about unbundling and focused on the types and frequency of unbundled services for families.  The second post focuses on lawyers’ responses to questions about financial arrangements for unbundled services and their perceptions of the benefits and concerns about unbundling.

What benefits did lawyers identify?

  • Increased numbers of clients and higher turnover of clients (shorter matters)
  • Increased and more stable cashflow
  • Personal satisfaction for work aligning with personal values: “Helping clients with limited financial means who would otherwise be disadvantaged due to power, economic and other imbalances.”
  • A business model that allows flexibility, lower overhead, affordable fees, ability to serve less affluent clients

With respect to the business model, the post notes:

A flexible business model for unbundling can allow for part-time work and providing services virtually.  This should be an attractive feature for many lawyers, including those at either the beginning or end of their careers.  As one respondent put it:

“I am considering changing my business model to exclusively provide virtual, unbundled services at a lower cost.  Eliminating my overhead will allow me to provide this service virtually.  I am currently researching alternative business models to determine whether this is viable.”

Take a look at the posts and keep an eye on the Mediate BC Blog for more posts in this series!

Kari Boyle*

*Candid admission:  I am both project manager for the Mediate BC Unbundling project and Coordinator of the Lab 🙂