Home > Self-Service Center > Resources > Types of Legal Representation

What Are Your Legal Needs?

Ghostwriting is when a lawyer is hired and paid an agreed upon price to do legal research, prepare a document or documents for the court. If asked by the court or by opposing counsel, you must let them know that a ghostwriter was involved in the case. The lawyer does not sign, put their name on, or file the documents they prepare.

Ghostwriting is not done often; limited scope representation occurs more often and is preferred by the courts. While this process is allowed, the risks do not always outweigh the benefits. Depending on the amount of work you want a lawyer to do, they may opt for ghostwriting; they do not have to make appearances or commit to the case.
Benefits Risks

Ghostwriting allows for legal experts to complete forms and other court documents without having the expense of paying for a full-time attorney.

There are some pitfalls and ethical considerations when asking a lawyer to ghostwrite for you.

Save money.

A lawyer does not have to tell you or the court if they have a conflict of interest in the case.

Have a lawyer draft documents you may not be able to create on your own.

Lawyers bear no legal responsibility to the client.

Save time doing legal research you are not confident conducting yourself.

The client has to be able to understand and defend the information contained in any ghostwritten materials or research.

No potential oversight of the attorney by the court.

Attorneys who perform ghostwriting services are often asked to take on the following tasks:
  • Research a legal issue.
  • Draft settlement agreements.
  • Write briefs.
  • Draft motions and pleadings.
Ghostwriting representation does not only happen for the general public. Attorneys with time constraints or large workloads can ask fellow lawyers to ghostwrite documents. Businesses can also employ ghostwriters to conduct research, draft memos, or write briefs when a need arises.

It is up to the attorney or firm to decide whether to offer ghostwriting services. You may meet in person with the attorney, or communicate through emails, over the phone, text messages, and written notices, forms, briefs, or memos.
You do not always have the same attorney-client protections under ghostwriting.
  • Confidentiality is still fully maintained. An attorney is not allowed to disclose that they were hired for ghostwriting purposes without permission of the client.

  • Depending on the scope of work the attorney does as a ghostwriter, they may or may not have to check for conflicts of interest in the case. For instance, if a Will is drafted during a legal clinic, most likely, an attorney is not going to consult their database to ensure that they have not assisted your ex-spouse in the past.