What is “Unbundling”? An Introduction to the BC Family Law Unbundling Roster

New on the Clicklaw HelpMap is the BC Family Law Unbundling Roster, filled with legal professionals across BC, who offer “unbundled” services.

This listing is managed directly by Roster Staff. To see full profiles for professionals on the list, which contains information about fee structure, supported languages and more, visit the Roster website here.

What are Unbundled Services?

In short, unbundled legal services means clients pay for some assistance depending on: (1) what they want help with and (2) what they can afford.

Most people would like to have the advice and assistance of a family lawyer, but hiring a lawyer to represent them from beginning to end is often too expensive and makes it difficult to predict total costs.

Unlike the traditional full-representation model, a lawyer providing unbundled legal services works on, and charges you for, only those tasks that you agree to in advance. You start by meeting your lawyer and, as a team, make a plan to address your legal problem. The entire matter is broken down into tasks and you choose which tasks you want help with and which ones you will handle on your own. This approach is flexible, and can be adapted to meet your needs including your budget and your comfort level with managing your own legal affairs.

Unbundling is not for everyone. The Roster website has a questionnaire that will help you decide whether it is for you.

What are some examples of Unbundled Services?

For example, if you are representing yourself in court you may want a lawyer’s help with drafting a document or pre-trial advice. If you are resolving your dispute through an out-of-court process like mediation, an unbundled lawyer can provide legal advice before mediation or draft a binding agreement after mediation.

Related Help

Do you know a lawyer or paralegal who is interested in joining?

Send them to this page on the Courthouse Libraries BC website, which offers a Sign Up link to join the BC Family Unbundling Roster, and a toolkit to assist and guide in the provision of unbundled family legal services in a safe and effective way. These core documents have been prepared with the assistance of the Law Society of BC.

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Talks on Access to Justice

What is the biggest problem facing the legal profession? The Chief Justice of Canada says it is access to justice. Research suggests that almost half of Canadian adults will experience a significant legal problem over a three year period, but very few will find legal services to deal with that problem. So why doesn’t access to justice (“A2J”) have a higher public profile?

Find out how and why this problem touches the lives of a majority of Canadians not just now, but throughout their lives.

Not in Vancouver? The following talk will be livestreamed at Why Don’t we Have Appropriate Access to Justice?, and livetweeted using #justicetalks.  This and future talks will also be available as podcasts.

 

Why Don’t We Have Appropriate Access to Justice?

When: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 @ 5-6:30pma2j_talk_01

Where: Green College, Coach House

What: What stands in the way of adequate access to justice? The Honourable Thomas Cromwell, recently retired from the Supreme Court of Canada and chair of the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters will share his thoughts on why we still do not have appropriate access to justice in civil and family matters and provide a brief update on some promising initiatives. Panel: Jennifer Muller, former self-represented litigant; Dan Baxter, Director of Policy Development, Government & Stakeholder Relations for the BC Chamber of Commerce

Cost: All talks are open to the public without charge.

 

Access to Justice and Sexual Violence

When: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 @ 5-6:30pma2j_talk_002

Where: Green College, Coach House

Who: Janine Benedet, Centre for Feminist Legal Studies, Peter A. Allard School of Law, UBC
Tracy Pickett, Medicine, UBC

Cost: All talks are open to the public without charge.

 

Access to Justice and Indigenous Laws

When: Wednesday, November 23, 2016 @ 5-6:30pm

Where: Green College, Coach House

Who: Val Napoleon, Law Foundation Professor of Aboriginal Justice and Governance, Law, University of Victoria
Hadley Friedland, Law, University of Alberta

Cost: All talks are open to the public without charge.

 

For more information on all events:

www.greencollege.ubc.ca or gc.events@ubc.ca

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Access to Justice BC

a2j_logoAccess to Justice BC is British Columbia’s response to a national call for action to make family and civil justice more accessible. It is a forum to facilitate open communication and collaborative working relationships among justice system stakeholders.

The following entry is a cross-post from the Access to Justice BC website

By Mr. Justice Robert J. Bauman
The Honourable Chief Justice of British Columbia
Chair of Access to Justice BC


Welcome to the Access to Justice BC website. It is my sincere pleasure to launch what I anticipate will become a series of updates communicating the activities and progress of Access to Justice BC. I look forward to reaching people across our province who are interested in and concerned about the extent to which the civil justice system is accessible in BC. I want to provide information about what Access to Justice BC is doing about the problem, and to invite you to tell us how well we are doing.

In this posting, I will describe a bit about Access to Justice BC and explain what encouraged me get involved with the initiative.

Access to Justice BC started when a few of the province’s justice leaders and thinkers took to heart the recommendation of the National Action Committee to create a provincial forum dedicated to improving access to justice. The small group of people grew larger and came to involve the major legal institutions in the province, and eventually representatives from organizations outside of the justice system as well. The rationale for this broad membership is to foster an innovative, multi-disciplinary approach to the issue, hopefully leading to better ideas and a greater willingness to experiment (and to take risks).

Access to Justice BC got off the ground in 2015 with a handful of meetings addressing the processes that the group will follow and deciding on a first target for action within the civil justice system: family law. Running parallel to the full Access to Justice BC meetings have been a multitude of smaller sub-committee meetings, working on strategy, communications and planning issues.

The most recent full meeting of Access to Justice BC, which I will describe in more detail in a separate posting, took place in February of this year and put to the test the creative thinking and commitment of the group. A number of concrete initiatives were identified for exploration, and I will be reporting on these initiatives as they progress.

What drew me to join Access to Justice BC? Like many people involved in the civil justice system, I am sorely aware of its shortcomings. Don’t get me wrong; I’m also proudly aware of its strengths and successes. But when I see litigants struggling to navigate complex court processes on their own, or when I consider the unknown number of people in BC who, thwarted by the potential cost, don’t pursue their legal rights, I have to ask myself: is the justice system there for everyone who needs it? If not, what are we doing wrong? Are there minor fixes to address some problems, or is a complex overhaul required? Conversely, what aspects of the system (or of another system for that matter) are working well? Is there a way to transpose those successes to certain areas of civil justice or to scale them upwards?

Access to Justice BC does not pretend to have the answers to these questions. The access problem isn’t something that can be solved by a group of people thinking hard in a room. It is a complex problem that may require multiple innovative solutions and, in order to reach those solutions, some degree of trial and error. It will also take hard work and, yes, in some cases resources.

I hope that you will visit our website and follow our progress over the next year.

– Bob Bauman, Chief Justice of British Columbia


Stay informed with Access to Justice BC:

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