Reinventing the Practice of Law

Limited Scope Representation

By: M. Sue Talia

M. Sue Talia is a national expert on and advocate for limited scope representation. Talia offers the nuts and bolts of “unbundling” legal services in this chapter, including:

·         The benefits of limited scope representation for both lawyers and clients;

·         An overview of the lawyer’s ethics obligations and malpractice risks; and

·         A how-to list of practical aspects.

Lawyers who are considering or already providing unbundled legal services as a part of their practice will learn techniques and strategies designed to expand opportunities.

 

The Lawyer as Collaborative and Preventive Peacemaker

By: Forrest S. Mosten

As he takes us on a journey of his own career path, Mosten demonstrates how lawyers can do well by doing good. Combining unbundled legal services, mediation and preventive law, he has created a unique perspective that is an alternative to the aggressive advocacy-based practice. Practitioners may be drawn to the traditional methods, but some clients will find Mosten’s alternatives far more attractive. This chapter helps practitioners evaluate the mix of options that could set them apart and redefine how they provide legal services.  

 

The Client-Centered Practice: Innovative Outreach and Niche Markets

By: Will Hornsby

In this chapter, ABA staff counsel Will Hornsby stresses the need to walk in the shoes of your potential clients. He:

·         Summarizes novel approaches to reaching clients, offering examples of how the private bar is reinventing its efforts to reach prospective clients;

·         Discusses nontraditional outreach mechanisms to client development that focus on facilitating attorney accessibility; and

·         Discusses how law practices are built around niche markets.

The examples highlighted by Hornsby offer lawyers creative ideas to better target potential clients in ways that best work for the consumers of legal services.

 

Serving Clients of Moderate Means with Online Legal Services

By: Stephanie Kimbro and Richard Granat

This chapter introduces us to legal services delivered via the Internet and outlines the opportunities, challenges, and costs of online legal-service delivery.

This A to Z of the online delivery of legal services to moderate-means clients is written for lawyers in solo and small-firms who are interested in the best ways to incorporate technology into their law practices, whether that is a mix of technology with bricks and mortar or the creation of a cyberspace-based practice.  

 

Dollars and Sense: Fee Shifting

By: Gerry Singsen, Joel Feldman, Michael A. O’Connor, and Kyle Dandele

What’s it like to run a practice where you do not charge your clients? Some lawyers rely on fee shifting to expand access to those who may not otherwise be able to afford legal services. This chapter provides:

·         A case study of Heisler, Feldman, McCormack & Garrow in Massachusetts (the “Heisler Firm”), where they represent tenants while getting fees from the landlords; 

·         A discussion of the role of fee-shifting statutes in developing a special-education law practice in Chicago; and

·         Tips on developing a client base, case selection compensation, and anticipating cash-flow fluctuations.

This “how-to” primer on fee-shifting law practices promises to inspire many private attorneys who are looking to reinvent themselves in the new “normal” of law practice.

 

A New Legal Service Hybrid: Increasing Access to Justice Through a Network of Low Bono Attorneys

By: Brenda Bratton Blom and Phillip Robinson

In this chapter, the authors offer critical insights into how the private bar and law schools can collaborate to address unmet legal needs. They discuss ways that attorneys can do good and do well through “low bono” arrangements, and offer models that can be replicated by others in various parts of the country.

 

Incubating Law Firms to Enhance Social Justice, by Fred P. Rooney and Launch Pads: Law Graduates Providing Access to Justice, by Judge Fern Fisher

As an international authority on lawyer incubator projects, Fred Rooney provides information about the cost, funding, and structure of incubator programs, and identifies efforts by law schools to launch programs that support solo and small-firm practitioners who are dedicated to assisting those of modest and middle incomes. In part two, Judge Fern Fisher writes about the New York State Courts Access to Justice Program partnership with CUNY School of Law and describes the “Launch Pad for Justice” program, encouraging law schools, bar associations, nonprofit organizations, and courts to consider developing similar programs to address the country’s justice gap.

This chapter promises to become necessary reading for law school administrators and bar leaders as they consider how to adjust their institutions to respond to the changing economic climate.

 

“Co-Pay Clinics: An Option for Affordable Legal Services”

By: Tracy Loynachan and April Faith-Slaker

This chapter explores nonprofit, sliding-scale, co-pay clinics that have proven successful in delivering legal services for a fee to low- and moderate-income populations. The authors offer unique access to the funding and organizational structures of these clinics in the hope of promoting the replication of these nonprofit models. As attorneys continue to reinvent the practice of law, these models may serve as helpful starting points to build future infrastructure.

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