If you want more control over your divorce, custody or support case — and you’re ready to ditch the dinosaur model of retainer fees and hourly billing — then the LAR Membership is just what you've been waiting for.
The LAR Membership is the group of clients that I represent in contested divorce, custody and support matters in the Massachusetts Probate and Family Courts.
LAR stands for Limited Assistance Representation, and here's how I think of it.
Imagine going into a restaurant, opening the menu and seeing that there are no prices listed next to the menu items. So you ask the waiter what your meal will cost, and he tells you that it depends on how long the chef takes to prepare your entire meal.
Oh it gets better. You're not selecting your own meal from the menu. The chef is going to do that for you. She will then prepare your meal, charge you by the hour, and send you an invoice periodically as you eat what is brought out for you. Yes, you have to eat all of it.
And there's one other thing. You need to pay the chef a retainer before she starts cooking.
I am the chef in this analogy (I know. . . stay with me.) What I have described above is the traditional model of representing clients that lawyers have used for decades -- the retainer and hourly fee model. This works for some clients.
LAR is more like a la carte. You order what you need and want depending on your circumstances, and you know in advance what you will pay for each item that you order because the price is right on the menu.
So, if you ultimately decide that you want to hire me to represent you, I am NOT going to ask you for a retainer OR bill you by the hour.
Instead, you can hire me for any individual task on a pay-as-you-go basis -- for instance, if you want to hire me to go to court with you, to attend a settlement meeting with you, or to draft any document for you. And, I will charge you a flat fee for each individual task so you’ll know the total cost in advance.
Hmmm. . . transparent pricing. . . the other chefs are definitely going to be mad at me.
For those other tasks that you can do yourself with a little bit of guidance, I charge a flat monthly fee of $325 in exchange for UNLIMITED email access to me, a monthly private video conference with me, AND access to an online platform containing instructional video content, templates and samples that will show you exactly what to do in each step of your case from starting the case through the pretrial conference phase.
"Thank you Janie. I appreciate your professionalism in your craft. . . It was a pleasure to have met you and I am still very impressed with your program. If I have occasion to refer an attorney to anyone in the future I will not hesitate to refer them to you, in high regard."
"I just want to send you a message giving you a sincere Thank You for all that you do. . . You rock!"
"Janie I just wanna say thank you so much. I could not have gotten through this without you. Your attention to detail, intuition, and legal advice are second to none. I know this will probably not be the last time I need your advice, but when I do I know I'm in good hands. Thank you so much!!"
"Thank you for all of your work with my case and the work that you put into the content available, it has been more helpful than I can express."
"The LAR videos are not only excellent, they're absolutely invaluable for anybody without a law degree. . . By taking away the confusion, your videos enable your clients to better understand the legal end of divorce and what they can expect when going to court. . . You going through each procedure, step by step, has helped me tremendously! . . . I highly recommend both you and the LAR videos to anyone contemplating divorce."
Templates and samples — the same ones I have used for years — for all of the documents that you will need in your case.
Video content that takes you step-by-step through every aspect of your case from starting the case through the pretrial phase. You will ALWAYS know what to do and when, because I show you.
You ALWAYS have UNLIMITED email access to me (and I personally respond to your emails), AND a monthly private 20-minute video conference with me to discuss your case.
You join the membership for $325 per month. This monthly price includes UNLIMITED email access to me, IMMEDIATE access to all of the online membership content, and the monthly 20-minute private video conference with me.
I'm with you at every step to keep you on track with the content and to help you move toward resolving your case. You always have access to me when you have questions or need my help.
If you want to hire me for an additional service, you can do so for a flat fee that I disclose to you in advance (in fact, right on this page if you keep reading.)
Whether you're getting divorced, have a custody or support dispute with your child's other parent, or you're trying to change a prior Judgment, I've got you covered. Keep scrolling down for a description of the content that you get inside of the Membership Library.
Before you start off on any journey, you need to load the car with supplies and grab your road map. In this module, I show you exactly where we are going, what we will encounter along the way, and which supplies to grab before you hit the ground running.
In this module, I show you how to get your divorce, custody or support case filed, or -- if your spouse or child's other parent has filed -- how to respond.
In this module, I show you how to decide if you need Temporary Orders, how to obtain them, and how to respond if the other party requests Temporary Orders.
Your financial statement is probably the most important document in your case. In this module, I show you how to prepare your financial statement the right way.
This is where we really get into it. I share my step-by-step systems for evaluating and negotiating issues like asset division, custody and parenting schedules, child support and more.
If you're wondering how you're going to prove certain facts -- don't worry, I've got you. In this module, I show you how to obtain the documents and information that you need to successfully resolve the disputed issues in your case.
You will have at least one settlement meeting in your case. In this module, I show you how to prepare for the meeting and what to do once you're there.
Most people resolve their divorce, custody or support case by agreement, but you must also capture the terms of that agreement in the document that will become your final judgment. I show you how in this module.
You will have at least one Pretrial, Settlement or Status Conference with the Court. In this module, I show you how to prepare for these conferences and how to use them strategically in your case.
I'd never make it as a chef, but Probate and Family Court is definitely my jam. And chef-analogies aside, I take this work very seriously. I know you do, too. After all, this is your family -- there is a lot on the line. So please -- ask away.
You have a lawyer -- I'm right here.
We are just using a model of representation that is different from the traditional retainer-and-hourly-fee arrangement (aka, the dinosaur model.) And -- yes -- you are doing more legwork than you would be doing under the dinosaur model (unless you opt to have me do it for you.)
Inside of the Membership, not only do you get content that shows you step-by-step what to do in each phase of your case from the starting point to the pretrial conference phase, but you also get access to me.
And, if you need to hire me to do something for you at any point -- or to go with you to Court or to a settlement meeting in your case -- then you can do that, too.
Joining the LAR Membership does not mean that you are on your own. In fact, the opposite is true. Joining the Membership is the best way to get access to me without paying a retainer and getting billed by the hour.
Yes, if your case is in Worcester County and if you wish to hire me to go to court with you.
One of the advantages of LAR is that you get to decide if you want to hire me to go to court with you, or not. For instance, you may decide -- after viewing the online content -- that you can handle certain court appearances on your own. Or, you may decide that you only need a video conference with me to help you prepare. With LAR, these options are available to you.
If your case is outside of Worcester County and I personally know a lawyer in that county, then I will connect you to that lawyer.
Ask away. You will always have email access to me, and I respond quickly.
You can cancel your monthly membership anytime. You will have access to the course content for the rest of the month during which you have cancelled. I do not offer refunds once you purchase the membership for that month because you get access to everything right away.
The question you really want to ask is "what if s/he joins first?" Here’s the answer. I run what is called a "conflicts check" to make sure that I am not representing (and have not represented) your spouse (or child's other parent.) If you are an LAR Member and your spouse tries to join, I will be alerted to the conflict and immediately terminate his/her access. The same is true in reverse. You cannot join the LAR membership after your spouse does.
You can hire me the "traditional" way by joining the LAR Membership and then hiring me for additional services if you find that is what you want to do.
I understand that the decision to hire an attorney – and which one to hire – is difficult, especially when it comes to your family.
My name is Janie Lanza Vowles, and I've had the privilege of representing family law clients for twenty years. I regularly appear in Probate And Family Court on matters involving divorce, paternity, custody and child support.
Inside of the LAR Membership, I put all of that experience to work for you.