Limited Assistance Representation, or LAR, began as a pilot program in several Probate and Family Courts throughout the Commonwealth, including Hampden County in Springfield. It’s a program designed to allow people to utilize the services, knowledge and resources of experienced lawyers without having to retain them for the entire case. It enables a person to pay just for the services most needed, whether it is drafting documents, presenting agreements, or representing clients on a limited basis at a specific motion or hearing.
Here’s the way it works: in order to participate in the LAR program, a lawyer has to gain certification from the Court. Once the client and attorney agree upon a fee and the scope of representation, an appearance and then a disappearance is entered in the case that automatically relieves the attorney at the end of the limited representation. The LAR is an extremely helpful and useful tool for people who really need help with their divorce, paternity, child support, contempt, or modification action, but just can’t afford to pay an attorney to fully represent them. It is also a way to relieve the clogged court dockets of the massive amounts of people who feel frustrated with the time it takes to make their way through the court system, who need help verbally conveying their position to the Judge, and those who face constant road blocks when trying to muddle though an intricate process without the necessary expertise.
The LAR program is now expanding into the other Probate and Family Courts throughout the Commonwealth. It works and is a mutually satisfying undertaking for both client and lawyer alike. Unfortunately, because the word has not yet reached the masses, many people are unaware that the LAR program even exists. So this is my attempt to inform the public.
We have many domestic relations attorneys here at Bacon Wilson who LAR certified, myself included. Feel free to contact me or send me an e-mail at any time to see if this program is right for you.
By: Melissa R. Gillis, Esq.