Bill Vickrey, head of the California AOC has announced his retirement. This is a moment that can not go unnoticed in the national access to justice community.
The impact of Bill’s quiet work for access, conducted in close partnership with already-retired California Chief Justice Ron George, was critical in getting us where we are today. His understanding of the need for public trust and confidence, his commitment to services for the self-represented, to the use of data to assess innovations and to close collaboration between the courts and legal aid, and above all the clarity of his vision for access for all, have played a very major role in both the intellectual climate and practical implementation of a pivotal revolution.
If I am right that the ongoing changes in the legal system from a decision-making system to an access to justice system are one of those transformations that occur only every several hundred years, then Bill will be remembered as one of the architects of the next emerging legal system. We are all lucky indeed to be part of this change — and Bill has been a big part of making it happen.
I await with eager anticipation the next phase of Bill’s amazing life. And I trust the California courts to find a worthy successor.