How do we ensure that the delivery of legal services meets the needs of legal consumers?
The American legal system is central to a highly functioning society and that system is under duress. Far too many who need legal service and assistance lack meaningful access to experts, resources, and solutions to their problems. There are many reasons for this:
- Cost of legal services;
- Geographic limitations;
- Inadequate communication between the institutions that educate future lawyers and the profession that provide legal services;
- Inadequate communication between the lawyers that provide legal services and the clients they intend to serve;
- Comfort with a status quo in the face of significant changes in demographics, technology, and complexity of problems; and more.
The challenges are daunting, but one thing is clear. The American legal system may be central to a highly functioning society, and in order to fix it we must place clients and legal consumers at the center of the American legal system. IAALS does this through its work on legal education and the legal profession.
The legal market is changing, and legal employers and members of the profession are increasingly calling on law schools to change the way they educate lawyers. Meanwhile, more information, data, and resources are being developed to help law schools and legal educators improve their programs and demonstrate greater value to students and the profession. IAALS is at that intersection, bringing the profession and law schools together to solve the challenges before us.
The legal system is core to ensuring a thriving democracy and a competent, responsive, and flexible legal profession is core to ensuring the legal system is working, as it should, for the people, organizations, and society that rely on it. IAALS is re-envisioning how to structure and regulate a legal profession that places clients and legal consumers at its center.