August 15, 2016

ABA announces creation of Center for Innovation to increase access to justice, improve legal services delivery

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2016 — The American Bar Association announced today the creation of the Center for Innovation, a venture designed to advance the ABA’s efforts to improve the delivery of legal services to the public through innovative programs and initiatives.

The center will drive innovation in the justice system and the legal profession by serving as a resource for ABA members, maintaining an inventory of the ABA’s innovation efforts and the efforts of the domestic and international legal services community, and operating a program of innovative fellowships to work with other professionals, such as technologists, entrepreneurs and design professionals, to create models that improve the justice system.

“Closing the access-to-justice gap and making the legal system accessible to all people is of critical importance. The Center for Innovation will help bring together the best and most forward-thinking ideas for making our system more efficient and available,” ABA President Linda A. Klein said.

Located in the ABA’s Chicago office, the Center for Innovation will identify and advance ideas that improve legal services and legal education and will include staff with substantive expertise and skills. Janet Jackson, formerly the director of the ABA’s Office of the President, will be managing director of the Center, which was created based on a recommendation from the ABA’s Commission on the Future of Legal Services.

Andrew Perlman, dean of Suffolk University Law School in Boston, will chair the governing council. The Governing Council Members will include leaders from the legal profession and business community, the judiciary, and legal education, as well as young lawyers, technology experts and other innovators.

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.