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About Redesigning Legal Speaker Series

Across the country, more and more jurisdictions are reimagining how to deliver and regulate legal services. Many stakeholders in the justice system—including lawyers, other legal service providers, judges, legal educators, law students, and the public—are curious about these innovations and want more information about how they work and how they open new avenues for more people to access legal help. This year, IAALS, the ABA Center for Innovation, the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, and Legal Hackers are hosting a quarterly speaker series, Redesigning Legal, to provide a forum to learn about and discuss the regulatory changes underway, the challenges they face, and the opportunities they provide.

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Cultivating Oasis in Legal Service Deserts

Legal deserts, in both rural and urban environments, continue to be a persistent challenge in the access to justice space. Discover how lawyers, justice workers, and state bars are leading the charge against legal deserts, pioneering transformative approaches to ensure justice reaches every corner of our society.

Redesigning Legal: Leading from the Bench—Expanding Access through Regulatory Innovation

As the ultimate regulator and stewards of our justice system, state supreme courts, in partnership with their colleagues on the bench, have recognized they must lead and are in a prime position to do so. The panelists explored the status of regulatory innovation, how courts and others are seeking to address the problems, and why state supreme courts and the organized bar must start forging solutions now instead of taking a “wait and see” approach. This esteemed panel featured Justice Ann Timmer of Arizona, Chief Justice Bridget McCormack of Michigan, Chief Justice Nathan Hecht of Texas, and Chief Justice Matthew Durrant of Utah, whose conversation was moderated by Justice Rebecca Love Kourlis of Colorado (Ret.). 

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Redesigning Legal: Legal Tech—Using Technology to Build Sustainable Practices & Expand Legal Services

Individuals and small businesses in America often struggle to find access to legal services. Meanwhile, legal professionals are seeing many changes to the profession that are both exciting and sometimes scary. As part of our Redesigning Legal Speaker Series, series we explored how lawyers and other legal professionals can help to solve these problems using new advances in technology—while building sustainable practices at the same time. Cat Moon, director of innovation design at Vanderbilt University, led a discussion with industry experts on how technology can expand access to legal services and create sustainable and enjoyable law practices. This esteemed panel included Erin Levine, founder of Hello Divorce; Chas Rampenthal, head of industry relations at LegalZoom; and Lori Gonzalez, founder of the RayNa Corporation.

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Redesigning Legal: Lawyer UPL—Has It Jumped the Shark?

Public protection has long been the stated justification for our strict licensing and regulation of lawyers—and the broader practice of law. Yet in our multi-jurisdictional and increasingly remote practice environment, lawyers who innovate are put in the crosshairs of unauthorized practice of law (UPL). Is it time for things to change? In a time when legal deserts—many of which are in areas bordering multiple jurisdictions—are widespread, access to justice is more critical than ever, and regulatory reform efforts are gaining unprecedented momentum, how can we strike a balance between broader access, sustainable practice, and public protection? This panel included Mike Kennedy, bar counsel for the Vermont Judiciary, and Wendy Muchman, professor at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. Their conversation was moderated by Lynda Shely, ethics lawyer at the Shely Firm PC. 

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Redesigning Legal: The Role of Legal Education, Clinics, and Legal Labs

This program explored the opportunities being created by regulatory innovation for legal education. Panelists focused on how law schools are responding and adapting to the prospect of fewer barriers to innovation that offer increased employment opportunities for their students, more roles for people other than lawyers in the delivery of legal services, the creation of tiered legal service providers, and collaboration across professional fields to provide more and new kinds of legal services. This panel included Stacy Butler (Director of the Innovation for Justice Program, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law), Anna Carpenter (Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Programs, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law), April Dawson (Associate Dean of Technology and Innovation, North Carolina Central University School of Law), and Michele Pistone (Professor of Law and Director of the Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law), whose conversation was moderated by Jordan Furlong (Principal, Law21). 

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Redesigning Legal: Unified Bars and the Art of the Long View

This program examined the status of mandatory state bars, as well as the most recent legal challenges to them. In addition, our panelists offered insight to the innovative ways bars are meeting these challenges. What is a bar association’s value proposition? Are bar associations sharing their values with their members, the public, and other key stakeholders?  This panel included John M. Stewart (Former President, Florida Bar), Hon. Ann A. Scott Timmer (Vice Chief Justice, Arizona Supreme Court), and Janet Welch (Former Executive Director, State Bar of Michigan), whose conversation was moderated by Joe Sullivan (Former President, State Bar of Montana and President-Elect, NCBP). 

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