The National Center for State Courts has released a request for proposals for its Justice for All project. The Justice for All project "aims to encourage state efforts that include all relevant stakeholders in the civil justice community—courts, access to justice commissions, legal aid, the private bar—in a partnership to implement CCJ/COSCA Resolution 5 (Meaningful Access to Justice for All)." Find out more about the project and access the RFP here. Deadline for submissions is October 5, 2016.
The 21st Century Practice Task Force at the State Bar of Michigan has released a report in which it proposes "Five Key Problems and Our Keys to Solving Them." Recommendations include an unbundling system to expand access, billable hour alternatives, support for innovative law firm models, dynamic and data-driven new lawyer support via incubators, and much more. Access the full report and the State Bar's new Futures page here.
Cases Without Counsel, a project of The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS), was a qualitative study conducted through one-on-one interviews designed to explore the issue of self-representation from the litigants’ perspective. Access the findings in the Research Report and specific recommendations in the Recommendations Report. Additional materials and resources are also available in this Toolkit for those interested in learning more or implementing the recommendations in their jurisdictions. See ABC News coverage of the study here.
Two law firms based in Wal-mart stores have recently opened in Missouri. The Law Store handles basic legal services such as traffic offenses, family law and wills and estate planning and uses a menu-style pricing model instead of the traditional hourly rate. Five more locations are planned in Missouri by the end of the year, and 11 other states have expressed interest. Another law firm based in Wal-Mart stores, Kaine Law, was recently featured in the ABA Journal article, "Law firms are already inside some US Wal-Marts."
The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice recently conducted the “Everyday Legal Problems and the Cost of Justice in Canada” survey which measured the frequency and ways in which members of the Canadian public experience everyday legal problems. The survey asks the public what these problems cost – in dollars, time and opportunity costs, costs to their physical and mental health and costs to their livelihood. Access the report here.
The Delivery Committee has filed a proposed resolution calling upon entities that provide online legal forms to include clear and conspicuous links to lawyers. The resolution will be before the ABA House of Delegates at the 2016 Annual Meeting in August. Click here to access the proposed resolution and the accompanying report. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to share your support, questions or concerns.
The Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) Lawyer Referral Service has launched a limited scope representation initiative to connect interested panel members with clients of limited means who may benefit from limited scope services.
The Arkansas Supreme Court is considering proposed changes to its Rules of Professional Conduct that would provide additional guidance for attorneys wishing to provide limited scope representation. Recently, an order soliciting comments was issued in response to a petition that the Arkansas Bar Association filed, requesting the changes.
The Chicago Bar Foundation and its incubator, the Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP), have released the Pricing Toolkit for attorneys seeking to serve low- and moderate-income clients. The Toolkit is designed to help attorneys value, price, and provide their services in ways that are affordable and accessible to folks who fall into the Justice Gap.
2015 Brown Award winner, Call for Justice LLC, is holding its Legal Liaison Program on March 29. C4J collaborates with United Way 211, the state’s largest information and referral resource, to provide training on how to make better, more targeted legal referrals to available programs. At the event, leaders from community groups and organizations will be trained on where to find legal resources.
The New York City Bar Association has just made permanent its Federal Pro Se Legal Assistance Project, which was launched a year ago in the Eastern District as a pilot program. The program provides limited-scope representation, advice and consultation to pro se litigants.
The National Self-Represented Litigants Project has just launched a National Database of Professionals Assisting Self-Represented Litigants to connect those offering innovative and responsive services and to provide information to self-represented litigants looking for affordable services. Read more about it and the issues surrounding it in the article, Reasonable Doubt: Why Better Access to Justice is Every Canadian’s Issue.
The Year in Review chronicles the work of the Delivery Committee and others who share a commitment to advancing access for those of moderate income. It highlights relevant articles, initiatives, policy, models and more from 2015. The annual Report is designed to help stakeholders broaden their understanding of the issues, identify others who are working in parallel paths and facilitate conversations about increased avenues of access to legal services. Access previous Year in Review reports here.