An important developments from the ABA Legal Services Delivery Committee, which is really the only group there that focuses on middle income access.
Reinventing the Practice of Law: Emerging Models to Enhance Affordable Legal Services, edited by the wonderful Luz Herrera, is intended to show that practitioners can build a sustainable business if they focus on middle income clients. As Prof. Herrera puts it in the Forward:
Through this publication, the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services encourages practitioners and various stakeholders to be creative and entrepreneurial in their efforts to advance access to moderate-income clients. Innovations such as virtual law practices, online case management software and legal document automation are all tools that lawyers can use to build sound economic models that offer greater options for moderate-income legal services consumers. Law schools, bar associations and courts can also look at the models developed in New York and Maryland to connect law students and new attorneys to opportunities to serve those who are otherwise priced out of accessing legal advice. Lawyers may want to consider new outreach models and niche markets as ways to engage untapped markets with unmet legal needs. Nonprofit models will continue to serve as important vehicles to reach populations not otherwise served by the private bar or legal aid models.
Different chapters are written by different experts. Here is the Table of Contents:
Part 1: Reinventing Lawyering
Chapter 1: Limited Scope Representation by M. Sue Talia
Chapter 2: The Lawyer as Peacemaker by Forrest S. Mosten
Chapter 3: The Client-Centered Practice: Innovative Outreach and Niche Practices by Will Hornsby
Chapter 4: Serving Clients of Moderate Means with Online Legal Services by Stephanie Kimbro and Richard Granat
Chapter 5: Dollars and Sense: Fee Shifting by Gerry Singsen, Joel Feldman, Michael O’Conner and Kyle Dandelet
Part 2: Reinventing Delivery Systems
Chapter 6: A New Legal Service Hybrid: Increasing Access to Justice Through a Network of Low Bono Attorneys by Brenda Bratton Blom and Philip Robinson
Chapter 7: Incubating Law Firms to Enhance Social Justice by Fred Rooney; Launch Pads: Law Graduates Providing Access to Justice by Judge Fern Fisher
Chapter 8: Co-Pay Legal Clinics: An Option for Affordable Legal Services By April Faith-Slaker and Tracy Loynachan
It’s just so nice to see more and more attention to a comprehensive integrated approach to solving the access problem.