Today is the first anniversary of this blog. 306 posts, over 16,000 web views (and maybe the same number of subscriber push views), and counting. Please celebrate with me by passing the word, and by encouraging folks to use the box on the right to subscribe and get regular automatic notification of new posts. And, of course, vote for this blog in the ABA poll. (It’s in the “Niche” category, for some reason).
Here’s my list of the biggest trends in the year:
LSC budget did worse that I expected, better than much of the leadership feared. The IOLTA crisis made it much worse.
Turner v. Rogers provided a major impetus to comprehensive access approaches. (As a general matter the civil Gideon folks responded to a disappointing result with a positive attitude.)
The ideas of continuum of services and triage became an accepted part of the discussion.
Awareness of the impact of court cuts on society as a whole spread, although it still tended to focus on money solutions, rather than the simplification that is required, and that should serve the goal of all the stakeholders.
Research into impact of counsel gave legal aid some bad moments, but ends up highlighting how nuanced and complicated the task of access is.
We are finally getting some overall data on what access services are available where, and laying the groundwork for mapping the comparison between needs and the in place delivery system.
Limited English Proficiency — huge progress on the issue with reportedly just
ratified agreed support by court organizations for the modified ABA standards.
Institutional progress: The LSC Board moved forward on a number of fronts, including strategic planning, support for data collection and metrics, and a Technology Summit. The State Justice Institute announced a major shift in direction towards access-orriented issues. The DOJ got a new head of its access program, and has been deeply involved in a number of issues. The ATJ Commissions Network is playing a larger role, with phone calls every couple of months.
Not so bad a year, but some bad moments and increasing challenges.
This list ignores lots of important work — I hope no-one feels slighted. Make your additions in the comments — and tell us why you think the trend is important. Please also feel free to suggest what should be the trends of the next 12 months. What should I be able to write on 12/12/12?