At the present time, though I am monitoring, despite the Edict from the Supreme Judicial Court allowing any trial court department to activate LAR, no trial court department has done so.
As a practical matter, an attorney can agree to appear for just one court event, such as to defend against a Motion to Increase or a Motion to Decrease Visitation, without being obligated to provide endless representation without payment.
I can see that this could be useful for legal services, in terms of leveraging how many family law litigants could be helped.
I am not sure how LAR would work in, say, housing court, or in a District Court civil matter. So, for now, stay tuned.
LAR may reduce the confusion caused by pro se litigants, if it is expanded, or allow a father’s rights group to have a father-friendly clinic. Only time and the evolution of LAR and access to justice will demonstrate whether LAR is a helpful change in the system – or a diminishment of the role of counsel.