Few attorneys build their law firm against the billable hour. Mellisa Grisel is one of those. Atlas Legal Services, LLC, was made to offer flat fee “unbundled” legal services and provide affordable assistance to the under-represented. A set-up that not only helps the average citizen navigate through legal processes but, she argues, will be a huge component in the future of law.

Key moments:

  • “Unbundled” legal services explained and why they work (04:16)
  • How new service concepts play out in a real-life firm (16:26)
  • Technology’s role in the “unbundled” service setup (21:57)
  • What Mellisa Grisel wants to see changed in the legal profession (30:32)


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“I didn’t really have other business models to work off of [when setting up my firm] so I had to do a lot of trial and error. But then you’ll see bigger firms who have the funds to do faster trial and error. They are moving some of their practice to flat fee services and they’re really starting to follow the money.”

“[Lawyers] don’t have to just be the hammer in the courtroom. They can the facilitator…. besides moving towards flat fees, I think it's awesome moving towards collaborative law.”

“The entire frame of legal services, the provision of legal services, needs to change to provide access to justice.”

“I’ve had judges personally thank me for taking on clients on a limited scope basis because the judges couldn’t tell the litigants ‘hey, you need to bring me all your evidence tomorrow, get your bank statements in line.’ They can’t give that person advice.”

Mellisa Grisel


Mellisa Grisel began her firm, Atlas Legal Services, LLC., right out of law school because she wanted an innovative way to provide legal services to people who may not have gotten legal assistance otherwise. Atlas is able to provide à la carte (otherwise known as “Unbundled”) legal services to people who may only need or may only be able to afford certain steps in their legal case.

This way of providing service is ideal for people with family law cases like divorce, child custody, adoption, litigation regarding unpaid bills, services that were never performed, personal property, and also landlord-tenant law. Atlas is quite literally designed to help small landlords who need help with a tenant - be it collecting unpaid rent, drawing up a lease that complies with local laws, or if it comes to it, eviction. 

Atlas Legal Services: www.atlaslegalservices.com

Call Mellisa: 312-291-4643


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"The 1958 Lawyer and his 1938 Dollar" still defines the business of law...
It's time for a change.

If you’re a lawyer, you’re familiar with the ABA article “The 1958 Lawyer and his 1938 Dollar” which gives our podcast its title, and its inspiration. That article was the start of the billable hour for law firms...And the last major change to the business of law, 70+ years ago now. Well, it’s past time for another change.  

This podcast is all about bucking the status quo of the business of law. Your hosts Ron Bockstahler and Kirsten Mayfield run Amata Law Office Suites, providing law firms an alternative to the traditional fixed-cost business model that places unwanted stress on attorneys to work long hours that often-times lead to burn out, broken relationships and in many cases substance abuse. Each week they’ll discuss alternatives to the 12 hours days, endless rotation of clerks and paralegals, and the expensive offices leased to impress clients who rarely show up in person anymore. They’ll interview successful lawyers who are doing law differently, and finding a work-life balance while still running a successful firm.  

Do you want to find a better way to run your law firm? It’s time for the next big change in the business of law, and you’ll get it here on The 1958 Lawyer.

Categories: The 1958 Lawyer | Podcast
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