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Attorney Susan W. Wakefield

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Hard Times Force People Into Family Court "Solo": Attorney/Mediator Susan Wakefield Coaches Parties Through Divorce with Limited Scope Representation

The high cost of legal services coupled with dire economic times is forcing people to represent themselves in court. Limited Scope Representation, also referred to as LSR or Legal Coaching, is an affordable way for individuals to represent themselves while working with an attorney to ensure that they get the legal advice and guidance needed to prepare their case and move it through the system properly and efficiently. LSR reduces the risks associated with self-representation.

Fairfield, CT, May 26, 2009 --( The latest statistics in the State of Connecticut indicate that due to the recession and increasing hourly rates charged by lawyers a significant number of people are entering the family courts without an attorney. The high cost of legal services, coupled with the dire economic times, is pricing many people out of traditional retainer-based legal services and driving them into the courts on a “pro se” basis, meaning appearing in court on their own behalf. Pro se litigants now comprise more than fifty percent of the family court docket. According to judges, lawyers and courthouse officials across the country, clerks are spending more and more time assisting parties who are unfamiliar with court forms and procedures further taxing an already burdened court system. As a result, the courts are inundated with faulty paperwork and confused litigants, increasing the time and effort required to finish even a simple family case. Pro se parties are not just people who fall into a low income bracket but also include middle class litigants who are experiencing unfavorable economic conditions and are unable to afford a traditional full-service family attorney. However many pro se litigants include independent-minded consumers of legal services who demand more control over their case than the traditional model affords. For many individuals who have been negatively impacted by the downturn of the economy, self-representation today is not a choice, it is a necessity.

Limited Scope Representation, also referred to as Legal Coaching, is an affordable way for individuals to represent themselves while working with an attorney whose experience, guidance and knowledge helps ensure that their rights are protected, they have the information needed to make good choices, and the confidence to navigate through what can be a complex and intimidating court system. Working toward a positive and cost effective resolution to their legal matter, Legal Coaching reduces the exorbitant costs associated with retaining an attorney who takes full ownership of their case and removes a lot of the fear and uncertainty associated with not having an attorney to represent them. Legal Coaching is a way for all self-represented parties to get the legal advice and guidance needed to arrive in court prepared with proper paperwork and realistic expectations. Working as a team, the attorney and client determine the steps necessary to prepare their case and move it through the system both properly and efficiently in terms of time and cost. Individuals who are committed to reducing their legal fees decide the extent and degree of the attorney's involvement, and their case and the costs and fees involved remain in their control at all times.

Limited Scope Representation covers a vast range of legal services that can include consulting with a party contemplating divorce, basic advice and counsel on all family law related matters such as divorce, custody, post-divorce motions for contempt and modification, assistance with strategy, document preparation, coaching couples on mediation, and probate court matters such as termination of parental rights, adoption, guardianships and conservator appointments. This type of service enables the client to enter the courthouse knowing what to expect, and with a much greater degree of preparedness and confidence. Although some Attorneys remain skeptical and resistant to individuals seeking to represent themselves, the reality exists that self-representation is on the rise.

Susan W. Wakefield is a family lawyer mediator with an office in Fairfield, Connecticut. Practicing in Fairfield and New Haven counties, Attorney Wakefield’s expertise is in the areas of Mediation, Limited Scope Representation, and Litigation for all Family, Divorce and Probate law matters. To learn more about Attorney Wakefield and her services, she can be contacted at 203-292-4950, or you can visit her website at or e-mail her at

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Attorney Susan W. Wakefield
Susan Wakefield

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