July 18, 2018

Commission on the Future of Legal Services

American Bar Association   

Commission on the Future of Legal Services

Easy access to affordable legal services is critical in a society based on the rule of law. Yet our courts are seriously underfunded. Legal proceedings are growing more expensive, time-consuming, and complex. Many who need legal advice cannot afford to hire a lawyer and are forced to represent themselves.  

At the same time, technology, globalization, and other forces are transforming the ways legal services are accessed and delivered. Familiar practice structures are giving way in a marketplace that continues to evolve. New providers are emerging, online and offline, to offer a range of services in dramatically different ways.

The American Bar Association (ABA) is well-positioned to lead the effort to improve the delivery of, and access to, legal services in the United States. The ABA can inspire innovation, leverage technology, encourage new models for regulating legal services and educating tomorrow’s legal professionals, and foster the development of financially viable models for delivering legal services that meet the public’s needs. To help achieve these goals, the ABA has established the Commission on the Future of Legal Services, which will:

  • conduct a series of community-based grassroots meetings and a national convocation designed to encourage bar leaders, judges, court personnel, practitioners, businesses, clients, technologists, and innovators to share their vision for more efficient and effective ways to deliver legal services;
  • seek information at the Commission’s public meetings and solicit comments from the legal profession and public;
  • analyze and synthesize the insights and ideas gleaned from this process;
  • establish internal working groups to assess developments, and recommend innovations, in accessing and delivering legal services; and...
  • propose new approaches that are not constrained by traditional models for delivering legal services and are rooted in the essential values of protecting the public, enhancing diversity and inclusion, and pursuing justice for all.