News Tag: Legal innovation


August 30, 2018

Expanding Practices and Access through Limited Scope

Across the country, the civil justice system is undergoing a transformation. More and more litigants are appearing in court without lawyers, making up well over half of the civil litigants in Illinois and closer to 75% nationally. Self-representation is no longer limited to the poorest users of the court system; growing numbers of middle-class people […]

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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 26, 2018

CBF Op-ed in Crain’s Makes the Case for Innovation in the Practice of Law

In an op-ed in Crain’s Chicago Business, CBF President Carrie Di Santo and CBF Executive Director Bob Glaves lay out why the Chicago legal community needs to commit to doing things differently and how that will expand legal assistance for people left out of the market now.

“While the causes of the current failure in the market for legal services are complex and long in the making, the urgency for change could not be clearer. Unfortunately, too many lawyers don’t see the problems firsthand in their practices and thus cling to long-held traditions despite stark evidence that the current system is not working for the majority of the public.”

Read the article…

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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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June 5, 2018

CBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project Featured in ABA’s Law Practice Magazine

We are proud to share that the CBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project was featured in the latest issue of the ABA’s Law Practice Magazine. In “Meeting the Needs of the Middle Market,” JEP Director Trevor Clarke focuses on how the JEP has grown and evolved in recent years to meet its goals of expanding access to affordable legal help for low- and moderate-income people by helping lawyers establish innovative, sustainable firms serving that population. The article discusses innovations the JEP employs, and how it shares lessons and resources to be a model for other incubators nationwide.

Read the full article at Law Practice.

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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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February 23, 2018

Top Ten Reasons the Billable Hour Needs to Go

The billable hour continues to be a significant and self-inflicted barrier to access to justice. Whatever its merits may be in the corporate market, for low and moderate-income individuals and small businesses the billable hour makes legal services less affordable and accessible because it lacks transparency and certainty and misaligns incentives for efficiency, innovation, and value.

Albert Einstein said “If I had one hour to save the world, I would spend the first 55 minutes defining the problem and 5 minutes finding the solution.” Here are my top 10 reasons the billable hour is a problem for access to justice.

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February 17, 2018

CBF Receives ABA Louis Brown Award for Legal Access

The CBF was honored to receive this year’s Louis Brown Award for Legal Access from the American Bar Association at the ABA’s Midyear Meeting earlier this month.

The Brown Award is an annual award presented by the ABA to programs and projects “that advance access to legal services for those of moderate incomes in ways that are exemplary and replicable.”

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