Maintaining a dialogue on divorce, child custody, alimony and other family law issues

BBA Provides Free Training for Solo and Small Firm Attorneys Building a Practice Around Limited Assistance Representation

Thursday, December 20, 2012

In a move that will ease the burden on a Trial Court facing unprecedented numbers of pro se litigants, and enable solo and small firm practitioners to get certified to help a growing source of paying clients, the Boston Bar Association today announced that on January 9 it will conduct a free Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) training session at the BBA's 16 Beacon Street headquarters. From 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. the BBA will conduct a general LAR certification session, to be followed by two breakout sessions from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

According to the American Bar Association, LAR, also called Unbundling, can be thought of as an "a la carte option for legal services, where instead of handling an entire case from start to finish, a lawyer may handle only certain parts." The ABA notes that LAR gives lawyers "the opportunity to obtain clients who would otherwise represent themselves," and at the same time reach "an untapped market and generate additional income."

One breakout session will focus on LAR in the Land Court Division of the Trial Court, which will permit LAR starting on January 2. That session will be taught by Land Court Judge Robert B. Foster and Donald R. Pinto, Jr. of Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster.  To register for this session, click here.

The other breakout session will focus on LAR in the Probate and Family Court, one of the first divisions of the Trial Court to implement LAR. This session will be taught by two private attorneys, Laura M. Unflat and Cynthia E. MacCausland, both of whom have LAR clients as a significant portion of their practice. To register for this session, click here.

The sessions will be videotaped for placement on the You Tube channel of The Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association for lawyers who want to self-certify. This spring, the BBA will conduct yet another LAR training session, with breakout sessions for lawyers interested in providing LAR in the Boston Municipal Court and the Housing Court Divisions of the Trial Court.

LAR is limited to civil cases and requires that lawyers follow certain procedures, all of which will be covered during the training sessions.

Family Law Committees

  • Family Law Communications Committee
    This committee publishes information relevant to the family law bar. If you are interested in an editorial position or writing for the newsletter or blog, contact the Co-Chairs.

    Contact Information

    Wendy O. Hickey

    Nissenbaum Law Offices

    (617) 330-9090

    Melinda Markvan

    Markvan Law LLC

    (617) 784-6832

  • Family Law Education Committee
    Help develop relevant and innovative educational sessions led by a diverse group of talented speakers who cover family law issues.

    Contact Information

    Joanne Eleanor Romanow

    Casner & Edwards, LLP

    (617) 426-5900

    Peter Jamieson

    Perocchi Family Law Group

    (978) 681 5665

    Katherine M. Potter

    Law Office of Katherine M. Potter

    (617) 877-8664

    Thomas D. Ritter

    Atwood & Cherny, P.C.

    (617) 262 6400

  • Family Law Public Policy Committee
    The BBA is very active in legislative and regulatory changes in the law. Family law attorneys are asked to lend their expertise.

    Contact Information

    Gayle Stone-Turesky

    Stone, Stone & Creem

    (617) 523-4567

    Peter G. Coulombe

    Massachusetts Department of Revenue

  • Family Law Public Service Committee
    This committee focuses on educating and training members about various pro bono opportunities. The committee also organizes community service and student outreach projects for the section.

    Contact Information

    Cynthia E. MacCausland

    Law Office of Cynthia E. MacCausland

    (617) 284-3804

    Abbe L. Hershberg

    Greater Boston Legal Services

    (617) 371-1234

  • Steering Committee
    The leadership committee of the Section organizes programs and discusses policy. To inquire about opportunities, please contact the Section Co-Chairs.