January-February 2016

Old problem, new solutions: Improving access to justice through innovation, collaboration


Old problem, new solutions: Improving access to justice through innovation, collaboration

The effort to increase access to justice is nothing new. But now, many bar associations and foundations are collaborating with legal aid, with like-minded organizations, and with technology-focused companies in new and different ways. Also of concern: how pro se litigants can receive the information they need—and perhaps unbundled services—so they don’t find themselves in trouble.

Diversity and inclusion have been widely studied as they pertain to what goes on in the legal profession. But largely unaddressed are some common challenges that often bring down even the most well-meaning efforts within bar associations. That’s according to Sandra S. Yamate, CEO of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession. What are some of those challenges, and how can a “mainstream” bar better include and engage all of its diverse members and potential members?

As with anything else that bar associations do, there’s no single model that works best for every bar leader who hopes to increase diversity and inclusion. But—as is also typical—there are many great examples from across the country, ready for you to borrow or adapt. Sandra S. Yamate spotlights a few of those successful ideas.

You might recall that Bar Leader once held a just-for-fun contest to showcase effective names of CLE programs, events, and other “bar things.” If you wanted to get in on that action—or have done some great naming since then—here’s your chance!

Have you heard of Periscope, the Twitter-owned app for streaming live videos? And … do you know how your bar could use it? Kristen Senz from the New Hampshire Bar Association fills us in on how some bars are using Periscope to add some excitement to their events and to social media. How can you use it effectively? And what are some of the legal implications when you “invite the world in?”


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