News Tag: Future of the Profession


November 5, 2018

Pricing for Access to Justice

The billable hour is dead! You’ve likely seen this headline a time or two over the past couple of years, and for good reason. As CBF Executive Director Bob Glaves pointed out in his 2016 blog post on pricing, we’ve largely priced the proverbial regular guy, and even ourselves sometimes, out of the market for […]

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August 15, 2018

Our Profession’s Losing Battle Against the Market

By any definition, we have a failure in the market for legal services for everyday people today, and a growing one at that. We have more lawyers than ever before at the same time as record numbers of people who need or would benefit from legal help are not getting it. Yet when faced with proposed changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct to address this market failure, the default response of our profession is to fight to maintain a losing status quo—perhaps making some technical changes but avoiding the larger issues.

Lipstick on a pig, as the saying goes, when what we really need is a new regulatory approach that does not force lawyers to compete in the market with one hand tied behind their backs.

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July 24, 2018

A Fool for a Client?—How to Avoid Playing the Fool

Part 4 of a 4-part series

Having identified the core roles lawyers play that are most important for someone facing a legal problem and what that means for our profession, today’s series finale looks at things from the perspective of the person facing a legal problem.

How can we best help people facing legal issues assess when they realistically can do things on their own, when they need a lawyer, and how much lawyer they need to achieve a just—yet cost-effective—outcome for their case?

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June 20, 2018

A Fool for a Client?—A New Agenda for Our Profession

Part 3 of a 4-part series

In my last post, I identified the ways that lawyers will continue to have an integral (though evolving) role in ensuring access to justice. Our profession has the urgent responsibility to better focus on those core functions to make our services more efficient, accessible, and affordable.

So how do we do that? Along with the continuous improvement and adaptation that will be an integral part of any individual law practice, the bar, the courts and law schools need to adapt their roles as well.

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May 23, 2018

A Fool for a Client?—Where Lawyers Matter Most

Part 2 of a 4-part series

What is it we do as lawyers that is essential? Startling advances in technology now enable people to do so many things on their own that previously required the help of others. But to achieve true access to justice, lawyers still play several indispensable roles that cannot be delegated to a technological solution.

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May 18, 2018

CBF Featured in Social Innovations Journal

The CBF is proud to be featured in the Social Innovations Journal’s most recent edition, Chicago’s Social Innovations, Social Enterprises, and Public Private Partnerships. We are humbled to be included among the many other innovative projects and programs, which together demonstrate how Chicago is a leading force in the international social impact and social policy movement.

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May 9, 2018

New JEP Attorneys Begin Program, Pro Bono Residencies

The CBF’s Justice Entrepreneurs Project is excited to welcome the eleventh cohort of innovative and entrepreneurial attorneys into its growing network. Over the next eighteen months, these eight outstanding attorneys will build law practices focused on meeting the needs of the underserved middle market for legal services—a client base that generally earns too much income […]

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March 29, 2018

A Fool for a Client?

Part 1 of a 4-part series

“A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.” Most of us have heard that old adage, and while we’ve thankfully come a long way from those days when the assumption was the lawyer would be a “him,” we’ve also reached a point where advances in technology and the growing gap in access to free and affordable legal services require us to revisit the underlying premise.

When do we really need a lawyer to get a just result? Or put another way, when are we fools to try to go it alone (assuming we even have a choice)? Not to be overdramatic, but there is not a more critical question today for access to justice and the future of our profession.

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December 20, 2017

2018 New Year’s Resolution for the Legal Profession: Make it a Priority to Incorporate Technology Into Our Work, but Set Clearer Boundaries

Last year at this time, you may remember my new year’s resolution for our profession was to stop calling people non-lawyers, which sadly continues to be a problem and needs to carry forward as a 2018 resolution.

My new resolution for next year is that we as a profession make it a priority to catch up to the rest of the world in the way we use technology. But it comes with a critical corollary: wherever we are on the spectrum of technology adoption, we need to set much clearer boundaries so that technology doesn’t so overwhelm our lives that we lose what makes us uniquely valuable as professionals and people.

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November 27, 2017

People Remember How You Made Them Feel, Part 2 – The Courts

In my September post, I used a famous Maya Angelou quote as food for thought on how lawyers can better serve their clients: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That quote could be a downright call to action in the context of the courts and how people without lawyers experience the current system.

To put it mildly, we can do a lot better. And this is no academic exercise—it’s critical to the future of access to justice.

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