Can’t Afford a Lawyer?

Alternative Legal Services Programs

Articling Student Services

Articling Students: What are they?

  • An articling student is a law school graduate who first has to work for a year under the supervision of a senior lawyer. Articling is similar to an apprenticeship. If the student successfully completes their articles they are then admitted to the Law Society of Alberta and can practice as a lawyer. Since the student is not yet a lawyer, the cost of hiring an articling student is much lower than hiring senior counsel, or even a junior lawyer! The best part about hiring an articling student is that a senior lawyer must review all work completed by the student. Therefore when hiring an articling student its like getting a senior lawyer at a discounted rate.

How can this help me?

  • Hiring an articling student is one way to keep costs low during your family matter while knowing that all work done by the student will still be monitored and reviewed by a senior lawyer.

What is the downside?

  • Students article for one year. If your matter takes longer than one year, your file may change many hands.
  • Waiting for a senior lawyer to review work can create slower turn around times to complete work.
  • The smoothest way to get through your legal matter is to have one lawyer on a full retainer. Resolve Legal Group recognizes that this may be difficult for individuals to achieve; this is why Resolve Legal Group has created opportunities for clients to have access to justice through our specialized programs. Please note that at times clients can feel frustrated when carrying the bulk of the work themselves. If you are having difficulty taking on the bulk of the responsibility as a self-represented litigant, the cost effective nature of these alternative service programs can end up not as cost-effective as a full retainer. This is particularly true for complex files or when a client is not willing or not able to adhere to deadlines, or be a diligently organized self-starter. This may occur where clients have high work or family demands that prevent them from attending to their own matters on a timely basis. When choosing any one of these alternative service programs, it is very important that individuals make an honest self-assessment as to their abilities to work within one of these alternative service delivery models effectively before commencing.

Limited Scope Retainer Services

Limited Scope Retainers: What are they?

  • A limited scope retainer exists where a lawyer is retained for a part, but not all of your matter. The retainer may be for specific things such as:
    • Appearing in court on your behalf;
    • Drafting and/or vetting documents;
    • Corresponding with the Opposing Party or Opposing Counsel on your behalf;
    • and more!

How can this help me?

  • You may choose to hire a lawyer on a limited scope retainer when you would like to self-represent in your matter to keep costs low but are still looking for assistance on some aspects of your matter. This allows you to save money throughout your legal matter while having the assistance of a lawyer where needed – the best of both worlds!

What is the downside?

  • Work completed on a Limited Scope Retainer is not as smooth as it would be if the lawyer was handling all aspects of your matter from start to finish on a full retainer. On a Limited Scope Retainer, more time is spent coordinating between yourself and your lawyer than would be if you were on a full retainer. Excellent communication and a good working relationship with your lawyer is required to help this process run smoothly.
  • The smoothest way to get through your legal matter is to have one lawyer on a full retainer. Resolve Legal Group recognizes that this may be difficult for individuals to achieve; this is why Resolve Legal Group has created opportunities for clients to have access to justice through our specialized programs. Please note that at times clients can feel frustrated when carrying the bulk of the work themselves. If you are having difficulty taking on the bulk of the responsibility as a self-represented litigant, the cost effective nature of these alternative service programs can end up not as cost-effective as a full retainer. This is particularly true for complex files or when a client is not willing or not able to adhere to deadlines, or be a diligently organized self-starter. This may occur where clients have high work or family demands that prevent them from attending to their own matters on a timely basis. When choosing any one of these alternative service programs, it is very important that individuals make an honest self-assessment as to their abilities to work within one of these alternative service delivery models effectively before commencing.

Budgeted Legal Services by Membership

What are they?

Our unique legal service membership offers clients one-on-one coaching with a lawyer through self-representation of your matter. This is done by way of membership with a fee of $500/month for a minimum one-year commitment. This membership includes two hours per month of legal advice by any one of our lawyers (a value of $530-800!). If your monthly hours are not used in any given month, they may be rolled over into the following month’s hours for up to two months before expiring.

How can this help me?

  • Budgeted Legal Services can help you get answers to questions whether they be procedural or substantively law-related at a fraction of the cost of a lawyer’s normal billable rate!
  • A membership also permits you to budget for your legal services.

What is the downside?

  • All membership services must occur in real time in the lawyer’s office.
  • You may not be able to have one consistent lawyer throughout your matter.
  • While this program is set up to save clients money, if you do not use your membership hours every month, the reverse may occur.
  • The smoothest way to get through your legal matter is to have one lawyer on a full retainer. Resolve Legal Group recognizes that this may be difficult for individuals to achieve; this is why Resolve Legal Group has created opportunities for clients to have access to justice through our specialized programs. Please note that at times clients can feel frustrated when carrying the bulk of the work themselves. If you are having difficulty taking on the bulk of the responsibility as a self-represented litigant, the cost effective nature of these alternative service programs can end up not as cost-effective as a full retainer. This is particularly true for complex files or when a client is not willing or not able to adhere to deadlines, or be a diligently organized self-starter. This may occur where clients have high work or family demands that prevent them from attending to their own matters on a timely basis. When choosing any one of these alternative service programs, it is very important that individuals make an honest self-assessment as to their abilities to work within one of these alternative service delivery models effectively before commencing.

Procedure Classes

What are they?

  • Often Self-Reps know their case better than a lawyer, but don’t know how to navigate their way through the court system. Therefore, Resolve Legal Group offers Procedure Classes for only $40/class or two classes for $60!
  • Classes include:
    • Understanding legal documents and filing,
    • How to run a trial,
    • Court Etiquette,
    • …. And more!

How can this help me?

  • You may attend these classes at a fraction of the cost of hiring a lawyer in an effort to get you through self-representation of your matter.

What is the downside?

  • Procedure classes allow you to learn the ins and outs of a variety of family law topics, but are not tailored to your specific matter; therefore, attending a procedure class may not answer all of the questions you have regarding your specific matter.
  • Classes occur in a group setting; therefore, your matter is not confidential.
  • Instructors give legal information only and are not able to give you personalized legal advice.
  • Classes are only available with a minimum enrolment of eight people; otherwise the course will not proceed.
  • Any course for which you may need information may not be available at the time you need it (i.e. you need to work around the course schedule rather than having the information you need available as you need it).
  • The smoothest way to get through your legal matter is to have one lawyer on a full retainer. Resolve Legal Group recognizes that this may be difficult for individuals to achieve; this is why Resolve Legal Group has created opportunities for clients to have access to justice through our specialized programs. Please note that at times clients can feel frustrated when carrying the bulk of the work themselves. If you are having difficulty taking on the bulk of the responsibility as a self-represented litigant, the cost effective nature of these alternative service programs can end up not as cost-effective as a full retainer. This is particularly true for complex files or when a client is not willing or not able to adhere to deadlines, or be a diligently organized self-starter. This may occur where clients have high work or family demands that prevent them from attending to their own matters on a timely basis. When choosing any one of these alternative service programs, it is very important that individuals make an honest self-assessment as to their abilities to work within one of these alternative service delivery models effectively before commencing.

Pay-as-you-go Litigation Support

What is it?

  • Come in to Resolve Legal Group and get the advice of a lawyer without having to sign a retainer or purchase a membership. The lawyer will not act on your behalf, but will assist with legal strategy, independent legal advice, vetting documents, offering second opinions and more!
  • Much like procedure classes that we offer at Resolve Legal Group, you will receive legal information and assistance to help you self-represent on your matter, but this assistance is one-on-one so that your matter is still confidential. Unlike the procedure classes, you will obtain one-on-one legal advice in addition to legal information.

How can this help me?

  • Throughout your legal matter, you may have questions yourself, or come across situations where you need a second legal opinion. This option allows you to retain control of your matter while having your questions answered by a lawyer.

What is the downside?

  • You are still acting as a self-represented litigant with a la carte support from an available lawyer from Resolve Legal  Group.
  • You may not be able to have one consistent lawyer throughout your matter.
  • The smoothest way to get through your legal matter is to have one lawyer on a full retainer. Resolve Legal Group recognizes that this may be difficult for individuals to achieve; this is why Resolve Legal Group has created opportunities for clients to have access to justice through our specialized programs. Please note that at times clients can feel frustrated when carrying the bulk of the work themselves. If you are having difficulty taking on the bulk of the responsibility as a self-represented litigant, the cost effective nature of these alternative service programs can end up not as cost-effective as a full retainer. This is particularly true for complex files or when a client is not willing or not able to adhere to deadlines, or be a diligently organized self-starter. This may occur where clients have high work or family demands that prevent them from attending to their own matters on a timely basis. When choosing any one of these alternative service programs, it is very important that individuals make an honest self-assessment as to their abilities to work within one of these alternative service delivery models effectively before commencing.

Have your court documents reviewed by a Paralegal

What is it?

 

  • We have a partnership with an outsourced paralegal service as well as offering paralegal services within the firm that are reviewed by a lawyer before going out to the client. See below.
  • Note: within this program, services are not covered by any lawyers’ insurance.

 

How can this help me?

  • This is a great option for people who want a la carte legal advice without the associated bill. You can have a Paralegal at Resolve Legal Group review your court documents to ensure compliance with the Alberta Rules of Court, that nothing is missed, and your documents do not get rejected by the court.
  • The smoothest way to get through your legal matter is to have one lawyer on a full retainer. Resolve Legal Group recognizes that this may be difficult for individuals to achieve; this is why Resolve Legal Group has created opportunities for clients to have access to justice through our specialized programs. Please note that at times clients can feel frustrated when carrying the bulk of the work themselves. If you are having difficulty taking on the bulk of the responsibility as a self-represented litigant the cost effective nature of these programs can end up not as cost-effective as a full retainer if a client is not willing or not able to adhere to deadlines, be a self-starter, is diligently organized and work and communicate well with their lawyer. This is particularly true where clients have high work or family demands that prevent them from attending to their own matters on a timely basis. When choosing any one of these services it is very important that individuals make an honest self-assessment as to their abilities to work within one of these service delivery models effectively before commencing.

 

Family law – did you know?

Did you know? Paralegal services claiming to be easy, affordable options do not always have insurance coverage and are not regulated by the Law Society of Alberta. Most family law firms have their own very well trained legal assistants and paralegals who can assist on your file at a fraction of the cost of your lawyer, while still being under the supervision of a trained lawyer so that your matter is fully ensured and protected by the rules that govern and regulate legal services provided by a lawyer and their staff and law firms. While there is a niche for paralegal services on simple, amicable matters, many times a law firm can achieve the same result as a paralegal service – and if you price compare the cost of a desk divorce at a law firm versus a paralegal service, most law firms end up being less expensive; for instance, our desk divorces at Resolve Legal Group are at a flat rate of $1995.00 plus the cost of disbursements (such as $260 filing fees). More complex matters should always proceed with experienced counsel rather than “easy” and “affordable” services that claim to be more “fair”; any legal services should always include a contract detailing what those services are, what costs are involved and how you are protected as a client in the event of negligence. For help with how to find the right program, service or lawyer for you, click here! (“Questions to ask in order to find the right service provider”)