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Request for Legal Services forms – pros but mostly cons

An audit report dated January 25, 1999, went to the Board of County Commissioners for Hernando County, Florida. The 20-page study followed up on an audit of the County’s Legal Services Department. For government legal departments especially, and for any small law department, the report has some useful ideas.

One audit recommendation was that the department push clients to complete a Request for Legal Services form. The form would cover any legal services likely to require more than a certain amount of time – not specified – and should have a submission and completion date (at 5).

I question the value of such forms. They could be argued for if a law department feels that clients too casually ask the lawyers to do something, or if clients repeatedly fail to send enough information along and the form reminds them to provide it. But it feels to me like the forms add far too much bureaucratic paperwork, create almost no value as compared to a matter management system, and benefit the law department if anyone far more than clients.

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