Blog Posts by Dona Playton

Dona Playton
For young legal practitioners, integrating limited scope representation into law school curriculums is a giant step toward increasing awareness and mastery of modern legal practice. This was the position of the “Unbundling for the Next Generation” panel at the IAALS/ABA Better Access through Unbundling conference on...
Dona Playton
Technology has radically altered how legal help is sought—and how it is delivered—yet there is still an overwhelming need for affordable and accessible legal services in the United States. This gulf can only be bridged when attorneys adopt new ways of approaching the practice of law and the delivery of legal services.
Dona Playton
By now, the word is out that Judge Richard A. Posner is retiring from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. His retirement was unexpected, but his stated reasons for doing so shouldn’t be. In correspondence announcing his departure, Judge Posner sites apparent “difficulty” with his colleagues on the bench over the...
Dona Playton
The legal industry is changing. In some courts, upwards of 80% of civil and family cases involve litigants who are navigating the court system without any form of legal assistance. Research has confirmed that the primary reason so many do not have the benefit of a lawyer is because of cost. The inability to afford an...
Dona Playton
Too often, an adversarial family court process does not provide the best outcomes for families going through divorce or separation. Yet, most people are still primarily directed to the courts for resolution of these family law issues—and most courts hearing these matters have overburdened dockets and lack the...
Dona Playton
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently approved a rule allowing a lawyer-mediator to draft and file settlement documents in family law cases, which can provide a more cost-effective path to divorce for families. In this situation, the lawyer’s role is limited and the he or she would not represent either party to the...
Dona Playton
Washington State’s innovative Limited License Legal Technicians (LLLT) program was recently evaluated by the National Center for State Courts and found to be a well-designed program for expanding legal assistance. LLLTs are non-lawyers who are specially trained to provide certain kinds of legal assistance. And, unlike...
Dona Playton
Consumer demand and innovations in the legal marketplace, especially technological advances, are leading the charge for changes in the legal profession. Many legal educators, lawyers, court administrators, and judges are embracing the evolution, but others are still reluctant to disrupt the status quo. In some courts...
Dona Playton
On the front of the United States Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., is the proclamation “Equal Justice Under Law.” However, according to our Cases Without Counsel study, in some jurisdictions nearly 80 percent of people with a court case end up representing themselves. For many, not being able to afford a...
Dona Playton
A new report conducted by Ecorys UK, Experiences of consumers who may be vulnerable in family law , explores the impacts of personal and situational vulnerabilities for people seeking legal assistance with family law matters. Specifically, the study explored access, cost, and quality of legal representation in the...

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