ABA Offers Recommendations for the Future of Legal Services

The American Bar Association’s Commission on the Future of Legal Services recently released a report that identifies problems with the delivery of legal services along with suggested remedies.

According to the report, despite persistent efforts to increase the public’s access to legal services, many people still have unmet legal needs—especially those with low to moderate income. Whether due to insufficient financial resources or a lack of information about when/how to acquire legal services, most people simply don’t have access to the legal assistance they require.

The report outlines several recommendations to address this problem, such as establishing a Center for Innovation that “will seek vital input from and collaboration with technologists, innovators, consumers of legal services, and those in public policy, to develop new projects, programming, and other resources to help drive innovation in the delivery of legal services.” The report also details the need to expand virtual access to the court system and the need to stay up to date with relevant technologies that may increase access to legal services.

IAALS is also focusing on the importance of leveraging technology to help the public better access the courts and legal system, stemming from our “Court Compass for Litigants” convening and 4th Civil Justice Reform Summit.

In an article for the ABA Journal, Linda Klein, the new ABA President and a member of our Foundations for Practice Advisory Group, said that despite differing viewpoints on the Commission’s recommendations, the report “marks a real milestone for the ABA and the entire organized bar.”

“It’s neither easy nor comfortable to embrace change, but we’ve got to do it.”

Mark Staines is a second-year law student at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and contributes to IAALS Online. Please direct inquiries about this post to iaals@du.edu.