20 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 563 (2007)
An Important Piece of the Bundle: How Limited Appearances Can Provide an Ethically Sound Way to Increase Access to Justice for Pro Se Litigants

handle is hein.journals/geojlege20 and id is 575 raw text is: An Important Piece of the Bundle: How Limited
Appearances Can Provide an Ethically Sound Way
to Increase Access to Justice for Pro Se Litigants
ALICIA M. FARLEY*
INTRODUCTION
For many Americans, the legal system in this country simply does not work.
Despite a traditional philosophical commitment to the notion that everyone is
entitled to a fair and impartial day in court, meaningful access to justice eludes
a significant portion of the population. The American Bar Association (ABA)
estimates that each year as much as eighty percent of the poor's legal needs go
unmet.1 Legal services organizations and pro bono programs that assist those
who cannot afford legal help generally meet only fifteen to twenty-five percent of
overall need.2 As demand for legal services has increased, several factors have
contributed both to a scarcity of resources and inequity in their distribution.3
Budgetary and subject-matter restrictions on the Legal Services Corporation
(LSC),4 along with cutbacks in social services and benefits, have substantially
affected the availability of free or affordable legal assistance for the nation's
poor.5 Individuals who lack access to legal services are often forced to either
* J.D., Georgetown University Law Center (expected May 2008). Sincere thanks to Ms. Alana Hecht, Esq.
for her assistance with this topic.
1. Brenda Star Adams, Note, 'Unbundled Legal Services: 'A Solution to the Problems Caused by Pro Se
Litigation in Massachusetts's Civil Courts, 40 NEW ENG. L. REv. 303, 304 (2005).
2. Challenge to Justice: A Report on Self-Represented Litigants in New Hampshire Courts, 2004 N.H. Sup.
CT. TASK FORCE ON SELF-REPRESENTATION, at 8, available at http://www.nh.gov/judiciary/supreme/
prosereport.pdf [hereinafter Challenge].
3. See Raymond P. Micklewright, Discrete Task Representation A/K/A Unbundled Legal Services, 29 COLO.
LAW. 5, 5 (Jan. 2000).
4. LSC is a private, non-profit organization established by Congress to provide civil legal assistance to
low-income populations. LSC funds local organizations that provide direct legal services to eligible
populations. See LSC.gov, What is LSC?, www.lsc.gov/about/lsc.php (last visited Jan. 16, 2007). In 1995, after
failing to abolish LSC, the nation's only formal, subsidized program to expand access to civil legal aid,
Congress slashed its budget by nearly one-third. See id.; Micklewright, supra note 3, at 5. The following year,
Congress enacted a series of restrictions on LSC-funded organizations, prohibiting involvement with class
actions, challenges to welfare reform, prisoner representation, and lobbying, and significantly curtailing the
ability of LSC-funded organizations to address systemic injustices. Id.
5. See Mary Helen McNeal, Unbundling and Law School Clinics: Where's the Pedagogy?, 7 CLINICAL L.
REv. 341, 342-43 (2001) (noting that reductions in social services and benefits, including 1996's dramatic
reform of the welfare system, have contributed to economic instability and a decease in available legal
assistance for the poor).

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