Making Law Better By Looking Outside of Law—The Wrap

When I kicked off my 2020 Resolution for the Legal Profession series back in December, to say the world looked different from today would be the understatement of the century. But for everything else that can be said about how much things have changed in just a matter of months, the central point of the resolution—that there is much our legal profession can learn by looking at other professions and industries—has only become more apparent.

The way we do business in law already was not working well for the average person or for the lawyers trying to serve the consumer legal market, and other professions and industries were far ahead of us in modernizing their business practices. As we all adapt to the new normal where more people than ever need legal help and where remote, multichannel access will forevermore be a fundamental part of our lives, it is even more urgent for our legal profession to look beyond ourselves for solutions.

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Just Because We Can Doesn’t Mean We Should, and Just Because We Should Can Never Again Mean We Can’t

That deliberately challenging title could apply to most things in our lives as we (hopefully) start returning to a semblance of normal in the coming weeks. My focus here is specifically on our courts and legal profession as the conversations about how to reopen the system get started. As much as the pandemic exposed the flaws and limitations of the system when it hit, there have been some impressive adaptations since then, and we have a unique moment in time to shape a much better future for the courts, our profession, and access to justice.

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Making Law Better By Looking Outside of Law—Video Changed the Radio Star

Those of us of a certain age who grew up with our home entertainment options largely limited to radio and a handful of network and local TV stations will remember when MTV arrived on the scene in 1981 and wowed us with this new-aged video from the Buggles.

While that song still belongs on any good list of one hit wonders, the Buggles were just as wrong that music video would be the end of radio as the many pundits who said that television would do the same several decades earlier. But being able to watch videos on MTV fundamentally changed the music landscape, and it was one of the key markers on the path to the multi-channel entertainment world we now all take for granted and have come to rely on more than ever during the pandemic lockdown.

And that makes music, movies, and the media a fitting next stop in my 2020 Resolution for the Legal Profession series on how we can learn from our counterparts in other professions and industries to make law better. Because with just a few notable exceptions, our legal profession and larger justice system are still operating with a one-channel business model in today’s multi-channel world, and it’s no wonder that is not working very well for the average person with a legal problem.

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Make Law Better by Looking Outside of Law—A Tax and Accounting Tutorial

When I started down the road on my 2020 Resolution for the Legal Profession to look at how we can learn from our counterparts in other professions and industries to make law better, it never occurred to me that we’d be facing a situation like the one brought on in recent weeks by the coronavirus. But as our legal community and justice system continue to respond in earnest to the challenges and disruption caused by this crisis, the importance of this undertaking has become even clearer. And the next stop on this journey—the tax and accounting profession and related businesses—offers some particularly useful lessons for our present and future times in law on the key issues of remote services and remote access.

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Make Law Better by Looking Outside of Law—A Medical and Dental Examination

A trip to the doctor or dentist is not something most of us look forward to. But there is much we in law can learn from the evolution of those professions, and that is the next stop in my 2020 Resolution for the Legal Profession journey.

While there is still room for further progress, three ways these professions have improved access include: a continuum of care options with many different entry points, a range of professionals who assist and are known by who they are rather than being called “non-doctors” or “non-dentists,” and a variety of business models for their practices to best meet the needs of both the professionals and their patients.

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Make Law Better by Looking Outside Law—Retail and Travel Edition

By Bob Glaves | CBF Executive Director

With the holiday season just behind us, one thing we all did recently was buy things—often lots of things—and many of us took a year-end trip as well. So it seemed only natural to start my 2020 Resolution for the Legal Profession series by focusing on what […]

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2020 Resolution—Make Law Better by Looking Outside Law

By Bob Glaves | CBF Executive Director

One of the common traits of our legal profession is to view ourselves as unique in the world. And that is certainly true to an extent, as the practice of law involves specialized expertise and services that good lawyers are distinctively able to provide.

But we are […]

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Build It and They Might Not Come

By Bob Glaves | CBF Executive Director

Since the days of yore, our courts and larger legal system
have centered around a “build it and they will come” model that requires people
to come to us on our terms. If you have a dispute, come downtown to the courthouse
and they’ll take care of it. And if […]

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What if I told you…?

…there was a magic potion that will give you a happier, healthier and longer life. Who wouldn’t want that?

Well, it turns out that potion indeed does exist, and all of us who are lawyers and legal professionals can easily take advantage of it. And no magic is required. So, what is it?

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MEGservationsGood for Everyone: Pro Bono and Veggies Go Mainstream

By Margaret Benson | Executive Director, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services

Pro bono is like veganism. Although it’s good for you and benefits society, people have been skeptical. But now both practices are popular enough that even people who don’t do them claim they do.

It wasn’t always that way. Back in the stone ages of the legal profession, before email, business processes and data analytics, many law firms didn’t have much interest in providing direct legal services to low-income clients. While some handled pro bono law reform cases through organizations like the ACLU and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, most firms didn’t think their attorneys should handle direct legal services for poor people.

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